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My Official Website

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This is my semi official website that I used for work (teaching, research etc). However, my faculty just created a new website for all of us, the academic staffs. Hence, I have a new website, an official one. Check it out: http://cheme.utm.my/zakiyamani/. It is still under construction in terms of content. I may need quite some time to have all contents posted in it.

Will definitely announce it again once the official website is 90% completed.

How to have an incredible productive day at work

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Here is how to do it. Just understand the self explained infographic below and you’ll understand.

timetable

New citations to my articles – #1 in 2014

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Earlier today, while checking my emails via my wife’s Samsung Galaxy S3 phone (due to my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 motherboard faulty), something caught my attention right away. It was this email from Google Scholar Alerts. I clicked the email and saw a new article published in Applied Catalysis A: General. What surprised me further is that the title of the paper is about Glycerol conversion to olefin… which was the topic I worked for my Ph.D. It is good to see somebody else is pursuing this research area.

googlescholaralert1

From this, I would like to see:

1. More researcher pursuing this specific area.

2. To see more of my articles cited by others.

To see/read my journal papers/conference papers/google scholar, please click here. Here is my Scival Expert.

Finally, the PhD battle is over

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phd-sessionThe announcement/notice at Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah (SPS) UTM on the day of my Ph.D viva

After roughly 4 years, I successfully completed defending my doctorate study. Alhamdulillah. Praise be only to Allah. It has been such a challenging and tough experience, discipline demanding which at finally end up with a happy ending. Thanks to everybody who have been supporting and helping me.

I wished I can immediately update and announce this wonderful news to the world (I mean my blog). Unfortunately I was quite hectic with work. I guess now, that I am already an active lecturer, I lost the luxury of time and freedom. I am now subjected and answerable to several bosses and superiors. They can give me task, assignments and anything, you name it – I must do it.

My PhD journey was not as fast as I have expected. I targeted to complete my PhD within 3 years. However, many things happen. It took me 4 years and 4 months. Below, I would like to share my PhD timeline.

My PhD timeline

1/7/2009 – My PhD commenced.

30/3/2010 – Presented my 1st stage PhD examination. I did it in my 2nd semester.

August 2011 – IEM professional interview @ IEM Head quarters, Petaling Jaya.

October 2011 – Passed IEM professional interview which means I’m a member of IEM and could get the IR title from BEM.

November 2011 – I was awarded the IR title from BEM.

November 2011 – IChemE Chartered Engineer interview at Daya Bumi, Kuala Lumpur.

January 2012 – Passed the interview and become member of IChemE and awarded Chartered Engineer title from Engineering Council of UK.

January 2012 – My first book chapter under Wiley Publication was published.

May-June 2012 – Research attachment in Newcastle University, UK to work on my thermodynamic modelling.

July 2012 – My first ISI paper was published in Chemical Engineering Journal. Very please and happy. Alhamdulillah.

January 2013 – My contribution in the Industrial Engineering Term was published, Wiley as well.

March 2013 – My second ISI paper was published in Biomass Bioenergy journal.

August 2013 – Submitted my PhD draft to Sekolah Pengajian Siswazah (SPS)

November 2013 – Successfully defended my Ph.D thesis. Alhamdulillah.

December 2013 – Completed all corrections.

January 2014 – Settling all the bureaucracy for my graduation. Completed thesis hard cover.

phd-viva-defenceJust after the Ph.D viva session. Alhamdulillah, happy faces can be seen. From left, Dr. Abbas (Assist. Chairman), Prof. Dr. Taufik Yap – UPM (External Examiner), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ramli Mat – UTM (Internal Examiner), myself, Prof. Dr. Rozainee – UTM (Chairman), Prof. Dr. Nor Aishah (My Supervisor), Prof. Dr. Salasiah – UTM (Internal Examiner). Rough time and date: 11.40 am, 12th Nov 2013.

If you read everything in the timeline, you’ll noticed that there were several activities that were not at all related to my Ph.D. However, they were related to my career and I have to do it. Bottom line is I managed to managed everything despite various obstacles and challenges along the way. I study in UTM which is also the place I stay. I have a family with 4 kids to entertain. It is indeed super tough to stay focus. However, my supervisor constantly urged and motivated me to write journal papers. I believe that helped a lot. At the end, I just compiled all the content of the papers in thesis form, aligned the flow a little bit and submitted the thesis. My supporting wife was always by my side to discuss research and non-research related stuff.

There were times I was not in my comfort zone. When I was asked to do thermodynamics and reaction kinetics, I was lost in no where land. I don’t know what to do and where to start. I was not sure of what I was doing. I can simply give up. However, I tried and tried to seek for the light. Fortunately, along the way, there were always helpful people that were generous to give a helping hand. Finally I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Alhamdulillah. Well, if you are a graduate student like I was before and are presently lost in your research, don’t give up. Stay focus. Remember the purpose of why you are doing your masters or Ph.D. Pray hard. Work hard. Organize your work. You’ll get it. You’ll finish it. You’ll win the battle.

If somebody asked me, how you did it? How you complete your Ph.D… here’s my answer… in no particular order.

  • Organize your work.
  • List them down.
  • Stay focus to complete them (the tasks/goals).
  • Be persistent.
  • Be discipline (I allocated about 2 hours per day in the early morning to do my writing).
  • Do what your supervisor asked to do.
  • Always be in solution mode – think creatively to solve any problem.
  • Pray hard and asked for God’s help and guidance.
  • Tawakkal

Welcome to the new Zaki Yamani Zakaria Page

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After being temporary idle, I have decided to make my site active. I want to provide fresh updates on my activities as well as subjects associated with my career and chemical engineering field.

I welcome any suggestions or comments for improvement of my official page.

As for now, I’m in my 4th semester of my Ph.D and I’m scheduled to complete my studies at the end of 2nd quarter 2012.

 

Talented Men Leave – Dead Wood Doesn’t

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WHY EMPLOYEES LEAVE ORGANISATIONS ? – Azim Premji, CEO- Wipro

Every company faces the problem of people leaving the company for better pay or profile.

Early this year, Mark, a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer.

He had heard a lot about the CEO. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology,even a canteen that served superb food.

Twice Mark was sent abroad for training. ‘My learning curve is the sharpest it’s ever been,’ he said soon after he joined.

Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Mark walked out of the job.

Why did this talented employee leave ?

Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away.

The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called ‘First Break All The Rules’. It came up with this surprising finding:

If you’re losing good people, look to their immediate boss .Immediate boss is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he ‘s the reason why people leave. When people leave they take knowledge, experience and contacts with them, straight to the competition.

‘People leave managers not companies,’ write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

Mostly manager drives people away?

HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave,but a thought has been planted. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he looks for another job.

When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more.. By omitting to give the boss crucial information. Dev says: ‘If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don ‘t have your heart and soul in the job.’

Different managers can stress out employees in different ways – by being too controlling, too suspicious,too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit – often over a trivial issue.

Talented men leave. Dead wood doesn’t.

Macarons, the Daddy Mac of Cookies

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There are people who are mad for macaroons and then there are people who are mad for macarons. That’s because American macaroons and French macarons have about as much in common as do pâté and apple pie.

American macaroons are holiday treats, gloriously dense amalgams of shredded or flaked coconut, egg white and sugar, often dipped in or drizzled with chocolate. Popular year round, French macarons are small, delicate, glossy confections of varied complexions. They’re pink, green, blue, yellow, brown, lavender, even black. And that’s what attracted Soraiya Nagree of Luxe Sweets in Austin, Texas to them in the first place.

“I saw this rainbow of colors in pastry shop windows,” says Nagree of a family trip to Paris when she was just ten. “Right then I knew I would do something with sweets. Not necessarily French pastries, but definitely with sweets. I wanted to make those macarons.”

While macarons often inspire love at first bite, most people are satisfied with just eating them. Nagree left a career in chemical engineering to pursue perfecting them.

For further reading, please visit http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,578089,00.html

Some Back Ground of Me

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I was inspired to choose chemical engineering when I first saw the chemical formula from my father’s chemistry book. The chemical formula shapes look fascinating and interesting to me.

My father is an organic chemistry lecturer in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). When I was 14, I read his organic chemistry book and willingly learnt from it by myself. When I was 17, I wanted to have a career associated with chemistry. Back then, my first choice was chemical engineering and my second choice was biochemistry. To be honest, I was unaware of what chemical engineers do and what the industry is like. I could not imagine it due to lack of exposure and information.

After completing my high school education, I pursue my A-Levels and took 3 core subjects which are essential for engineering: Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Then I continued my degree in chemical engineering. I managed to get a place in Bradford University, United Kingdom. I was unlucky because in our contract, practical training or sandwich course is not included by our sponsors. Therefore, we don’t have any valuable practical and industry exposures. That doesn’t matter and I keep on studying until I graduated in 1999.

To be continued in the next post…

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