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“The professors were very helpful and that made my PhD life very memorable”

Why, what, how and where: an alumnus takes stock of his experience as a predoctoral researcher at IMDEA Networks

We interview one of the members of our Alumni Network, Dr. Allyson Sim, during her recent visit to IMDEA Networks. Allyson obtained her PhD from IMDEA Networks and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid back in March 2016 and is now a Post-doc Researcher at the TU Darmstadt in Germany.

Her research interests are on the topics of beyond-5G networks, specifically scheduling algorithms and precoding designs. Currently, Dr. Sim is working on the EmergenCITY project in the area of communication, where they enable infrastructureless communication in disaster scenarios.

Why did you decide to pursue a PhD?

So I always have loved teaching and I have known this for quite some time, I think probably since I was in high school, and that got me thinking “where should I go so that I can teach?”. And the only place that I could think of that I can teach continuously until hopefully the end of my life would be academia. So that triggered me to pursue my PhD. And why IMDEA? That would be because I wanted to pursue a PhD outside of Malaysia, and that's why I came here.

What would you highlight about your time as a PhD student at IMDEA Networks?

I find IMDEA Networks very special in the sense that the environment here is very warm and coming from a country where I haven't moved anywhere else and IMDEA being the first place, Spain being the first place, I could integrate very easily because we have people from different countries, different continents working in the same environment and then we all can speak the same language even though our mother tongue is very different. And the professors here they are very helpful and I think that made my PhD life a very memorable one.

Do you feel your time at IMDEA Networks prepared you well for your professional career?

I would say so, especially from the research point of view, I would like to actually give a special thanks to my professor Dr. Joerg Widmer. He has been guiding me, teaching me, especially from the writing paper part until the publication part and that was very helpful throughout my PhD and I have learned a lot from him as well on the other aspects. And that actually is a situation that when I move on to another university I could use the same techniques to communicate with students.

Have you moved into industry, academia or the research sector?

For now, it is rather clear that I would like to stay in academia because I have been in industry, for example in Huawei. I was doing technical training for new people, new employees who wanted to learn a certain device, and it's very different teaching in industry as compared to teaching in academia, and I do certainly prefer teaching in academia. I would definitely stay in academia.

Source(s): 
IMDEA Networks Institute