New UC Graduate Celebrates Chemistry Breakthroughs
Mohammed Abdelbassit published six research papers during his doctoral thesis at the University of Canterbury, an exceptional achievement for a student. He received his PhD in chemistry this Friday.
With the examiners’ comments that “the quality of his scientific results far exceeds the standards required for a PhD,” it is clear that the University of Canterbury (UC) PhD student Mohammed Abdelbassit has a bright future for research ahead of him.
During his four years at UC, Abdelbassit focused on studying the structure and physical properties of novel chemical compounds. This includes the production of new fluorescent chemical compounds that can absorb high-energy light and emit it as lower-energy light. The most common applications for this are energy-saving fluorescent lamps and LED lamps.
During his studies at UC, Abdelbassit’s research was published in Chemistry – A European Journal, ChemPlusChem and The Journal of Physical Chemistry A as well as in the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry.
Working closely with Abdelbassit, Deborah Crittenden of the UC’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences said, “Mohammed is a world-class scientist who has done outstanding research during her time at UC.”
“He has already published six articles during his studies, which is quite an extraordinary achievement. Most PhD students only finish with one or two published papers, if at all! “
Abdelbassit wants to use this research to boost his career and hopes to get a postdoctoral position where he can continue his passion for research.
“I want to help humanity solve complex problems and discover new technologies through chemistry,” he says.
Part of his studies included X-ray crystallography, an experimental technique used to determine the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal. This plays an important role in understanding biological and geological systems.
During his studies, Abdelbassit had the opportunity to travel to Sydney to conduct a neutron diffraction experiment at the Australian Organization for Nuclear Science and Technology (ANSTO). This was funded by UC and ANSTO through UC’s membership of the Australia Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE), which aims to promote scientific advancement and collaboration.
The trip enabled him to use a nuclear reactor to determine the structure of chemical compounds and to localize the position of hydrogen atoms in a molecular structure, which cannot be reliably located by an X-ray experiment alone.
Mohammed was born and raised in Sudan. He came to Ōtautahi Christchurch after studying in his home country and in Saudi Arabia. During his time in New Zealand, he not only enjoyed studying, but also enjoyed the wide open spaces of Canterbury and introduced him to a new favorite food.
“I like the kiwi favorite cuisine, fish and chips. It tastes different from the fish we have in Sudan, but it’s delicious! “
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