NU Step to PhD: Andas Amrin, PhD graduate in Science, Engineering and Technology

Our next NU Step to PhD guest is Andas Amrin, a PhD graduate in Science, Engineering, and Technology at NU SEDS. Previously, he received a master’s degree from the University of Shanghai in Science and Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Kazakhstan National Technical University. Andas is currently working as a research fellow in NU SEDS, and he is conducting research in the fields of space technology and mechanical engineering.


Tell us about your doctoral research?

For my doctoral study, I was engaged in the automation of engineering systems and processes design. The purpose of the dissertation was to develop a methodology that will be used as a semantic base for automating the analysis of engineering systems and processes. My methodology was based on a theory called the Algebra of Ideas. It’s a theory developed  by my supervisor, Associate Professor Christos Spitas. He previously taught at one of the premier technical universities in the world – the Delft University of Technology. I am very glad that I had the chance to work with a professional who helped me a lot in the learning process.


What is the applied value of your work?

During my doctoral studies, I developed a methodology that can be applied to the design of gearboxes in various configurations. This method has helped to improve the efficiency of the system and reduce the time needed for design processes. Additionally, I developed a program that can be used to analyze the reliability of cars. This program was designed for my doctoral study, and it creates a network from a list of machine components, depending on the functionality of the component.  For the case study, the program analyzed real statistical data from the British Reliability Index database. From a practical point of view, my methodology is applicable to the design of any engineering system.


What can you tell us about the process of writing your thesis?

To begin with, I had studied Information Technology previously, but as my field of study I chose a topic in the cross sectional area between Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology. At first, it was difficult to dive into this discipline, but thanks to the support of my supervisor, I was able to quickly adapt to the topic of my dissertation and start working on publications.

In the process of working on my thesis, I have faced difficulties. One of them was the publication of articles in journals with a high impact factor. Nevertheless, during my PhD studies, I presented my work at one of the best conferences for engineering design, which was in Vancouver, Canada. This conference gave me an opportunity to see the projects of other researchers from this discipline and get to know them better.

During my studies, I have met a lot of people from the scientific and industrial fields. This program helped to develop my  self-presentation and communication skills. In addition to developing me academically, NU gave me the opportunity to enjoy student life. For example, I was a debutant at the Vienna ball for the first time in my life.  It was an experience to remember for a lifetime! Working productively requires a work-life balance, which can be achieved not only through good academic conditions, but also an interesting atmosphere on campus. I am immensely grateful to Nazarbayev University for such experiences.


Please, tell us about your future plans?

Now, I am a researcher at NU and am continuing to work with my supervisor on various projects in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Perhaps, after some time, it will be possible to work abroad for post-doctoral studies to gain experience and develop connections in the academic field. In addition, I have plans to commercialize our ideas and programs.


What would you advise to future doctoral students?

Post graduate studies are a very important and difficult stage in the life of a person who wants to acquire certain knowledge and skills in a scientific field. If you want to take the train to the end of the line and get a doctorate degree, then your main motivation should not be receiving the PhD diploma itself, but how much you will learn from the process of studying for the degree. Therefore, you will need patience and perseverance for the successful completion of the PhD program. I hope you are able to find a good, enthusiastic, and experienced supervisor who will help you achieve your goals.