Mostafa Atia treats his research projects as he would treat his children. He said that “one should treat every new research project as if they were expecting to have a new baby. You would choose your work title carefully and ambitiously as you would do for your child’s name.”
Mr. Atia believes that having such a perspective, a scientist would feel the urge and the need for developing a beneficial technology to serve the community. “Just like raising your child to become a successful person and most supportive of his community and people,’’ he added.
I never thought I would live to hear a scientist expressing himself using such personifying language, to describe his true passion for science.
He says that he was raised in a respectable family that valued science and scientists. However, he believes that we are “nothing more or less than what we choose to be.” Mr. Atia advises people following his path to surround themselves with “the believers who can push and criticize you to become a better person, and this will not be easy, but more acceptable than failure.”
Mr. Atia was born and bred in the capital of Egypt, Cairo, close to the Nile river banks. He attained his Master and bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Helwan University. His academic path successes flourished since his grades positioned him among the first six bachelor’s high achievers and by receiving the “Best Master’s Thesis Award.”
“I couldn’t be there to take it myself, but my father was, and I feel proud that he received it on my behalf,” said Mr. Atia.
He considers the joy that his parents feel when he achieves or succeeds in something that benefits society, as one of his main hard work’s motivations.
From an early age, Mr. Atia had set up a few goals to achieve, “I did my best to achieve high grades since high school to join the school of pharmacy. I found myself motivated by nursing or taking part in the curing process of people who are suffering from illness, especially after my grandfather passed away,” he said.
He decided to follow his brother’s footsteps into studying pharmacy because he always took him to be his role model, “people find him as a good, respectable and successful pharmacist,” said Mr. Atia.
Equipped with passion, dedication, and motivation Mr. Atia chose to develop his knowledge further in researching and working on capillary electrophoresis, a branch of science which Professor Michael Breadmore, his current supervisor, developed an extensive amount of work in.
“I wanted to join Professor Breadmore research’s group, as I admired his work,” he added.
Therefore, Mr. Atia joined the school of natural sciences, at the University of Tasmania in 2017, through Trajan’s industry-academia collaboration – the ASTech program. His Ph.D. project focuses on developing Portable Analytical Systems for Quality Control and Monitoring in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities.
According to Mr. Atia, the ASTech program leads all parties from industry and academia, including the market, to find people’s needs and respond to them efficiently. “A kind of fit-to-purpose research as I usually say.” Mr. Atia said.
He describes the industry – academia collaboration as “the soul that gives your research the power to be alive.”
Given his background experience in pharmaceutical analytical chemistry, he is working on a new portable device that can be used for online cleaning verification as part of his ASTech program scholarship.
“This device aims to solve serious glitches in the pharmaceutical industry from an economical and safety point of view,” he said.
The passionate scientist says that he is just an “ordinary man” who works hard to invest in his “given talents.” To date, he has published six research papers and is expecting to submit his Ph.D. research in two years.
Mr. Atia believes that curiosity alone can’t drive a scientist to do his work, but also the dedication and the passion for his research. “Scientists should be free to choose what to learn and whom to collaborate with without any borders,” he added.
What gives him a sense of hope in the future of his work in this field is the results the world would witness through science that benefits people, “perceiving the impact of his scientific and research work’s results to improve the quality of life.”