Training USTians with pride by promotinga creative educational environment

Secure world-leading educational competitiveness

Discovering creative talent and to become real USTians
Establishment of UST21 education system

Become a university with industry-academia-research integration

Strengthening the cooperation between UST-GFRIs-corporations
Strengthen the cooperation between GFRIs
Support business start-ups with GFRI-based technologies

Establish global status as a national research university

Improving brand value
Improving cooperation network

Establish creative knowledge management system

Providing creative educational environment by applying cutting-edge technology
Improving management effectiveness

I want to contribute to my home country by learning South Korea’s competitiveness

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  • Registration Date : 2013-05-31
“I want to contribute to my home country by learning South Korea’s competitiveness”
Hello, could you tell us about yourself?
Hello, I’m Ashraf Alfandi from Jordan. My father is a headmaster and my mom is a retired English teacher. In total, there are seven children: five boys and two girls. Three of them are engineers and one is a doctor, studying medicine in Ukraine. Come to think of it, many of my siblings work in science and engineering.
What led you to come to the UST?
The UST deeply believes in technological research investment. This is shown by the fact that the UST is very well known throughout South Korea for surpassing other universities in the amount of research. I chose the UST because this completely matches my thoughts and beliefs on the matter. In addition, the UST offers a chance to get a master's degree on a nuclear research-dedicated campus. As a result, I have an opportunity to meet and learn personally from those who have a wealth of experience in industrial nuclear technology.
What inspired you to be a scientist? Could you tell us what specifically you are studying?
My major is advanced nuclear engineering systems, with a focus on research reactor fluid system design. My research topic is pressure calculation for research reactor fluid systems, and I am currently working on the modeling and simulation of fluid flow using ANSYS software, a structural analysis program. I deeply believe that investment in field technology research is the most feasible and effective way for national development. I entered this program in order to contribute to the newly born research reactor program in Jordan. As for the reason I entered this field, I just enjoy the field I am in, and that’s why I came all the way to South Korea.
How do you usually spend your day?
Actually, there is no routine, but it’s just research and research. The entire time is dedicated to research, even on weekends.
What do you think of science education in South Korea? What might be the differences between Jordan and South Korea in education?
At first, I was strongly impressed with the South Korean education system. I felt that education was being applied to the industrial field on a massive scale. This seems to be the greatest competitiveness of the South Korean education system. On the contrary, it is a problem of the Jordanian education system, too. Right now, financial and funding problems are hindering the implementation of high-cost experiment techniques in Jordan.
Do you get along well with your colleagues? Please share memorable moments in South Korea if there is any.
In my lab, there are eight Jordanian colleagues. So I can pretty much feel the Jordanian atmosphere even in South Korea and don’t miss home desperately or anything. We are like a family, sharing many things. What I will never forget is how good care the guys took of me when I had an operation on my knee last November. I’m so grateful even now.
‘I have heard you were one of the best participants of the International Food Festival at the 3rd UST Conference. What kind of food did you make that you gathered so much attention? Do you usually enjoy cooking?
We prepared many traditional dishes for the festival. Mansaf, the dish Jordan is most famous for, and some other Arab dishes: Ouzi, Fattah and Awwamah. Usually, we enjoy cooking together on Saturdays because, during the week, we don’t really have time to cook. At first, we didn’t really know how to cook anything but we were forced to learn because we’re living abroad. Jordanian food tends to have a strong flavor. So people who like it like it a lot, but it might be heavy on the stomach for someone who is not used to it.
What do you think is the greatest difference between Korean and Jordanian food? Could you share some difficulties you might have had with food in South Korea?
Korean and Jordanian food is totally different. In Jordan, bread is one vital component of any meal, like rice in Korean food. For the first six months in South Korea, I couldn’t eat the Korean food because I wasn’t used to it. But, now, I like it very much, and kimchi is one of my favorite foods. The main difference in food between the two countries is the amount of salt used in the dishes and the way food is served. We had problems with chopsticks at the beginning.
Is there anyone in South Korea who has impressed you or any special memory for you?
Yes, Professor Juhyeon Yoon, my advisor. He means more than a father to me. I learned from him how to be a hard worker in my field. I am truly unable to describe how much I am grateful to him. Last year, I hurt my knee and was hospitalized. He left a meeting with the President of KAERI upon a call from a doctor at the hospital. As far as I know, that meeting was very important… I am so thankful to him.
Do you have anything to say to your family in your home country? And what is your plan or resolution for the future?
First, to my family, I do love and miss you all. I really want to tell them I am very eager for the day I go back to Jordan. After ing my master’s degree here in South Korea, I plan to go back to Jordan to help establish a research center that is planned there. In the long run, I plan to get a doctoral degree and get a job at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).