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I still remember very well the first microstructure that I had the chance to thoroughly examine during my undergraduate materials science lab. It was about the interpretation of various steel microstructures depending on their carbon content and I was really intrigued by the formation of different intermetallic phases and their characteristic shapes and colors. That day, I recall walking back to the dormitory and imagining microstructures all over the pavements and streets of Montreal. During my final undergraduate project in mechanical engineering at Ecole de Technologie Superieure (ETS) in Montreal and in collaboration with Hydro Quebec’s Research Institute (IREQ), I had the chance to work with portable robotic systems used for the maintenance of large hydroelectric equipment. The alloys used to build the flexible robots played a major role in the quality of their robotic gridding and in avoiding cavitation and cracking. For my M.Sc. at the University of Arizona in Tucson, my fascination for materials continued but it shifted from metals to wooden structures and it was combined with my passion for pianos, since I had the chance to study wooden soundboards in grand pianos. My most enriching learning experience was acquired when I joined Dr. Daolun Chen’s group to pursue my PhD in Ryerson University, Toronto. I began working on lightweight alloys and their structural applications for the automotive industry. Starting from my second week of joining the group, I found myself fully immersed in metallography and sample preparation cutting, mixing resins, mounting, polishing, and etching and I have since continued to learn something new every day which only grew my love for the vast field of materials science.
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Dialogue with Emerging Engineers
Fatma Mokdad, Ryerson University
- Springer US
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