Abdul Talukdar

​​BSc, Bangladesh University in Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh
MSc, KAUST
Where are you now?

I am currently living in Columbia, South Carolina (US). But I will be moving to Portland, Oregon (US) to join INTEL in November 2014.

Why did you choose KAUST?

When I was researching various universities for higher education, I found KAUST, which was offering great research resources, an excellent faculty body, and good fellowship offers. Not many universities offered comparable research opportunities. The courses also needed to be excellent and practical to shape the students for future research. Once you have great faculty, the coursework and the research work end up being comparable to the best schools in the world. I considered all of these reasons when applying to KAUST. I also knew that if admitted to KAUST, I would be one of the founding students; this had the potential to be quite challenging. But the infrastructure, the promises, and the research quality of KAUST gave me the hope to take the challenge. I had a strong belief that if you set your goals high, then you can turn the challenges to your favor. I am glad that I chose KAUST for my MS degree. 

How did KAUST help you to achieve your career objectives so far?

The three most important things to achieve my career objectives are: my supervisor, research freedom, and knowledge resources. While at KAUST, I took several courses. They were quality courses taught by great mentors. The courses were hard, but I still use the knowledge I learned from those courses. The courses really helped me to strengthen my basic knowledge and in-depth understanding. Now when I take PhD courses in the US, it feels easier to grasp the content. At KAUST I also had the freedom to choose research topics. As most of my projects are funded by National Science Foundation (NSF), I have to be right on track on my research to deliver the results. But there is always a time when you feel like finding other answers, but you do not get the time or funding to investigate those aspects. But at KAUST, I had that freedom and I could do more research if I needed to. That is why when I graduated from KAUST, I had four articles published in peer-reviewed journals and four conference presentations. These publications gave me excellent writing skills, and the research helped me to shape my PhD research in US. Finally, all of these were not possible without a great supervisor Dr. Khaled Salama, who guided my education while at KAUST, provided me with excellent research topics for my MS thesis, advised me with courses, and mentored me while acting as a friendly supervisor to help me plan my future career. So what have I achieved so far from KAUST? I secured a research assistantship at USC because of my academic performance and excellent supervision from Dr. Salama. The most important achievement that I should mention is receiving a job offer from INTEL one year before of my graduation. This is mostly due to my good publications and my MS degree from KAUST. KAUST is now well-known, and I am proud of being a founding student from KAUST.

What is your research topic?

In KAUST my MS thesis was entitled "Nonlinear Dynamics of Memristor based 2nd and 3rd Order Oscillators." In my thesis, I worked on the newly invented fourth basic electrical circuit element named Memristor, and studied  its interesting behaviors when connected on different electrical circuits (mostly oscillators).

Currently I am pursuing my PhD at USC, and my research topic is "III-V Nitride based MEMS and NEMS for Sensing Application." For my PhD, I am designing, fabricating, and characterizing micro and nano cantilevers with embedded transistors for on-chip sensing of sub picometer displacement, detection of explosives, and biomolecules. 
 
What were your research accomplishments at KAUST?

  1. Published four articles in high impact peer reviewed journals.
  2. Published four articles in IEEE conference proceedings.
  3. 3rd prize in KAUST Graduate Research Symposium 2011 (MS oral category)
What do you think about the KAUST environment and social life?

The environment at KAUST was friendly, welcoming, and helpful. I still remember the gatherings of the students in Discovery Square. There were many social activities arranged by the students which gave me the opportunity to enjoy many relaxing evenings. There were also many food outlets and the beautiful central cafeteria at which we could eat. KAUST is really a great place to live where you can do world class research, play soccer, watch movies, eat tasty foods, attend different types of fun programs, workout at the gym, relax at the beach, and finally walk on the Harbor Bridge to enjoy a beautiful view of the Red Sea.​