Dr Angham Sabagh
Dr Angham Sabagh is definitely a member of an academic family: her brother is a surgeon, her sister and husband are university lecturers, and her children are studying medicine and pharmacology. Angham was also first amongst her classmates when completing her BSc in Control and Systems Engineering, so it’s no surprise that she chose to pursue her PhD and an academic career. Although moving to the UK from Iraq did pose challenges, for both Anhgam and her family.
After completing her undergraduate degree Angham worked as an engineer, and then went on to gain her Master’s before joining the University of Technology, Iraq as a lecturer. While conducting her own research she became fascinated by the ‘Smart Environment’ as “it is regarded as a new era in computing.” The desire to pursue the area of Context-Aware Systems and Ubiquitous Computing further led her to embark on her doctoral studies here at Salford; “I contacted my supervisor [Dr Adil Al-Yasiri
] with a proposal asking him for advice. He was happy to help and work together towards completing my PhD.” However it wasn’t just the academic support that Angham remembers fondly, as she says “Salford University is a very nice place and friendly environment to study in.”
On arrival though, Angham found that her biggest challenge was studying as an overseas student with a family, and understandably her main concern was her two children. “I needed to compromise between focusing on my study and take care of my children, as the UK was a new environment for them in terms of language, different study styles, and cultural background.” Her strategy for coping was to treat her PhD like a job, as she explains “I always worked hard, and from day one of joining the school as a PhD researcher, I tried to engage and attend every day from early morning 8:00am to 5:00 or 6:00pm to work in my research and do some teaching; then return home and engage with my family, and sometimes work late night time in my research.” As she had already embarked on an academic career back home in Iraq, having the opportunity to teach while working towards her PhD was always important to Angham, “throughout my PhD I was keeping in mind to continue my academic career. I have great passion for research and teaching and enjoy interacting with students.” And so when Angham completed her studies (on time) she continued to work with her supervisor in a voluntary capacity as a Visiting Researcher in order to build up her experience. Happily, the hard work and dedication paid off as it helped Angham to secure a position Lecturer in the School of Environment and Life Sciences here at Salford when the opportunity arose.
Angham’s current role is Programme Support Tutor at Manchester Metropolitan University and she was recently on the technical programme committee of their ‘9th International Symposium on communications systems Networks and Digital Signal Processing CSNDSP14’
. She states that studying at Salford - and having opportunities to work with a wide variety of people - enabled her to become self-governing in terms of conducting her research, and developed her knowledge in order to apply it in other areas. Angham was also able to improve on her CV during her time at Salford with many of her papers being accepted for publication, in addition to her increased teaching experienced. She adds that “I got a very good references and recommendations from the university staff that helped me to get a job."
Dr Sabagh’s plan for the future is to be a Lecturer and work with PGR students of her own. When asked what advice she would give to her students she replies, “To be committed and involved in their study, review papers from day one to the end to keep their information up to date. To publish papers in conferences and journals as the reviewers will give them a good feedback which they could benefit from throughout their research. This will also help them build their CV for their future career and employability.”