Howcan we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, produce more food and chemicalsin a sustainable way? This question has provoked my interest during myundergraduate studies, in a country like Egypt, where wastes are considered anuntapped treasure. Nowadays, sustainable food processing has a great potentialin countering our most pressing environmental and economic challenges. I gotexcited by the prospects of sustainable agriculture and food processing duringmy freshman year when I attended a session held by a visiting Canadianprofessor.
It was about biotechnology and bioprocess engineering, he focused onthe utilization of biomass and food wastes in producing high-value chemicalsand bioenergy, I was intrigued by the idea that wastes can be considered as asolution rather than a problem. Consequently, from that time and throughout allof my undergraduate studies, I became more interested in novel foodtechnologies that can help us produce more food in a safer way while reducingour wastes and environmental footprint. As anundergraduate student, my passion and interest drove my commitment anddedication which is exactly what I needed to become the top of my class for thepast four years. During my studies, I acquired substantial skills and knowledgein the engineering, chemical, physical and biological concepts underlying theprocessing of food as well as novel technologies that allow us to process foodin a sustainable way, this has inspired me to co-author a chapter aboutmicrowave processing of foods in a book entitled “New Technologies in the FoodIndustry” that will be released in the food science department at myuniversity.
To further my knowledge, I went on to learn more through myprevious internships in different food companies; I spent three months as anintern in the quality assurance department at Olam SVI International, I workedon a project which involved developing food defense systems for the company,furthermore, I helped in developing different pre-requisite programs such asforeign object control and pest control for food safety management systems andHACCP; this allowed me to gain more practical insights into the food safetysystems by putting what I learned into practice. Moreover, my undergraduatestudies have provided me with a strong foundation in bio-preservationtechnologies along with various aspects of food biotechnology such asfermentation technology, functional foods, bioprocessing of wastes and theproduction, purification of enzymes and high-value chemicals as well as theirapplications in the food industry; my interest in these subjects motivated meto work on second generation biofuels in my graduation project; I decided towork on the saccharification of rice straw into fermentable sugars in order tobe utilized for ethanol production, the aim of the project was to overcome theproblem of low sugar yields from the enzymatic saccharification by enhancingcellulases production as well as their composition, during that time, Iovercame many problems while working independently. Myresearch interests lie in the field of food biotechnology and bioprocessing,specifically in the development of fermentation technologies, bio-separations,utilization of food by-products and the recovery of bioactive compounds forfood and medical applications. After carefully considering the courses andresearch areas of the master program in the Department of Chemistry at TheAmerican University in Cairo, I concluded that it is the perfect place for meas a first step towards my dream of pursuing a Ph.D.
in bioprocess engineeringin order to develop my career in academia and research. I chose this programparticularly for its flexibility that can help me tailor the degree to myspecific interest and goals, also the multidisciplinary nature of its researchas well as the top-notch facilities and quality education it offers. On the whole, I strongly believe that The AUC will provide me withthe opportunity to work at the frontiers of scientific research with its highlyesteemed faculty, I am aware of the perseverance and hard work necessary forthis degree, but I am also sure that my competence and dedication will drive mysuccess through this challenge. I look forward to taking the first step towardmy dream and I appreciate your further assessment.