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20 years of study culminates in PhD for Qatari engineer

Dr Abdulrahman Al-Braik

Wed, 25 May 2016 13:55:00 BST

Now, Dr Abdulrahman Al-Braik actively encourages other Qatari students to study at the University of Huddersfield

Abdulrahman with his son, Mohamed Abdulrahman Abdulrahman is pictured (right) with his son, Mohamed Abdulrahman, who is currently studying at Huddersfield for an engineering degree  

FOR more than ten years, Abdulrahman Al-Braik has combined a key role at one of the Middle East’s leading oil and gas producers with study and research at the University of Huddersfield.  Now, he has been awarded his doctorate. 

His PhD thesis so impressed examiners that they asked for only a few, minor changes to the text – a considerable achievement that crowns Dr Al-Braik’s long association with the UK university.  But his family links with Huddersfield will continue.  His son Mohamed Abdulrahman – sponsored by the Qatari government – is currently studying for an engineering degree. 
For over 20 years, Dr Al-Braik has worked in various departments within Gas Operations, responsible for gas processing in the state of Qatar.  In 1994, he was sponsored by his employers to study full time at the University of Huddersfield, first for an HND and then for a Bachelor of Engineering degree. 
Back at his organisation, Dr Al-Braik’s career as a mechanical engineer at the company led to an appointment as a Head of Engineering in the Department of Transmission and Distribution of Hydrocarbon Products. 
‌But despite his demanding role, he continued to study part time for postgraduate qualifications at the Huddersfield, using his annual leave to pay research visits to the University, taking his data back to Qatar for analysis. 
Gas Operations In 2005, he achieved an MPhil in mechanical engineering, and now he has been awarded his PhD for a thesis titled Detection and Diagnosis of Incipient Faults of Centrifugal Pumps, a topic that is of close relevance to his work, detecting and remedying faults before they effect production. 
During his PhD research, Dr Al-Braik was supervised by the University of Huddersfield’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, Professor Andrew Ball, who directs the Centre for Efficiency and Performance Engineering

“It’s been a pleasure to supervise Abdulrahman’s PhD” said Professor Ball.  “It’s very rewarding when a piece of doctoral-level research is based within a sector-leading industrial organisation.”

A doctorate was always his ultimate goal, said Dr Al-Braik.  By continuing his studies part-time he continually enhanced his skills and knowledge of the latest technology, he added.  Now Dr Al-Braik actively encourages other Qatari students to work towards postgraduate degrees at the University of Huddersfield.

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Wound expert appointed professor

Karen Ousey

Tue, 24 May 2016 14:48:00 BST

“…it is all about preventing skin damage in people who may be at risk…”

1st International Conference MEDICAL advances are leading to increases in average life expectancy, but one result of the ageing population is a parallel rise in levels of serious skin damage, caused by conditions such as pressure ulcers.  This is one the developments that has led to the appointment of Karen Ousey as Professor of Skin Integrity at the University of Huddersfield, confirming it as a major centre for research in a field that is of burgeoning importance.

Professor Ousey is an established expert on wound care and tissue viability who began her career in acute care nursing before becoming a lecturer-practitioner.  She arrived at the University of Huddersfield 11 years ago and she heads its multi-disciplinary Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention, which in June hosts a major international conference.

Now, her new appointment will be a boost to research in a field that is of increasing medical significance, said Professor Ousey.  “People will see that professorial title and realise how serious we are about this area.”

Karen Ousey “It is all about preventing skin damage in people who may be at risk and it also about education to staff, patients and relatives and carers on how to look after the skin,” she continued.

Professor Ousey and her fellow researchers are investigating the science behind skin, discovering ways to prevent pressure damage and how to manage wounds effectively.

“One of our biggest priorities is to maintain and improve health-related quality of life outcomes,” she said.  “People who do have a wound or a pressure ulcer are able to manage them and live a normal life.”

Lancashire-born Karen Ousey did her early training at Rochdale School of Nursing and began her career at London’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, acquiring extra qualifications.  When she returned to the North, she worked at hospitals in Manchester, Bury and Salford.  In 1997, her interest in research and teaching led her to become a lecturer-practitioner at Salford University.

She became a full-time lecturer in 2000 and after five years joined the University of Huddersfield’s School of Human and Health Sciences.  Prior to her professorship, Dr Ousey was Reader in Advancing Clinical Practice within the Division of Podiatry and Clinical Sciences.

The author and co-author of many articles, her recent output covers topics such as avoidable pressure ulcers, the importance of hydration in wound healing, the role of the tissue viability nurse and an investigation of staff knowledge of pressure ulcers in care homes.  She is the Clinical Editor of the journal Wounds UK.

Skin “The more we research and publish, the more heightened awareness there is among the general public about skin integrity,” said Professor Ousey.  A key issue, she added, is that the population now is generally living longer, meaning that more and more people must cope with co-morbidities that affect the condition of the skin.

“But skin integrity is an issue for all age groups,” said Professor Ousey.  “For example, very young and pre-term babies are affected as well.  Their skin isn’t well formed and there can be problems with device-related damage, such as tubes that rub against skin.”

Skin integrity and wound management are important elements of nurse education at the University of Huddersfield.  But the topics are of increasing relevance to other disciplines.

“Healthcare is changing so we also teach pharmacy students about wound management,” said Professor Ousey.  “People are finding it harder to get an appointment with their GP, so they tend to go to a pharmacist for advice if they have got cuts and scrapes or leg ulcers.”

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Hudds computer scientist chosen by Microsoft and Google

Raluca Georgescu

Mon, 23 May 2016 13:17:00 BST

‌Romanian Raluca is pick of the crop for Google’s Code U project

Google U Code EVEN before her graduation from the University of Huddersfield, Romanian-born student Raluca Georgescu has enjoyed invaluable opportunities with two of the world’s most powerful software companies.  It has reinforced her ambition to forge a career with a multi-national corporation.  But she is also ambitious to use her computer skills to aid education and development in some of the world’s poorest regions.

Raluca, aged 22, has now completed her BSc degree course in Computing Science and will graduate in July.  She will then relocate to London for a Master’s course before embarking on her career, armed with a CV that already boasts links with Microsoft and Google.

Her University of Huddersfield degree course included a year-long work placement, and Raluca earned an internship at Microsoft’s London site.  She was put to work on Bing, in particular its auto-suggest features, and she made contribution to refinement of the software.

Bing “It is rare that an intern gets to work on a search engine directly,” said Raluca, “I was part of an awesome team, with a great manager supporting me,” she added.

Now Google, seeking high-calibre students from European universities, has picked her to take part in a six-week project named Code U.‌

Raluca has been teamed with four other students, who are at universities in Poland, Romania, Spain and the UK.  There have been regular conferences, advice sessions and assignments via the online platform Google Hangout.

Raluca Georgescu The project culminates in a three-day session at Google’s London HQ, where Raluca will meet her fellow team members face to face and have valuable opportunities to network with Google personnel.  Raluca has also secured a three-month summer internship in London, working as a front-end developer for top cloud computing company Salesforce.

In addition to her career goals, Raluca is active in campaigns to encourage more women to study and work in computing.  She gained a bursary in 2015 to attend a Texas conference on the subject and she founded a Women in Computing circle at the University of Huddersfield, with a membership of female students, researchers and lecturers. 

She also has a passion for innovations that have a social impact.  For the final-year project of her University of Huddersfield degree, Raluca devised technology designed to promote education in Sub-Saharan Africa.  It is an app that aims to optimise video streaming and online courses in countries where internet connections might be slow and where there is widespread reliance on mobile devices.

Raluca is from the Romanian city of Constanta, where she developed her passion for computing when attending a high school that had a focus on mathematics and technology.  She chose the University of Huddersfield for her degree because it offered just the course she wanted, focussing on web technologies. 

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