Dr Yusof Hamid
When you’re an international student with a family, living alone can be tough; especially when you have a PhD to complete and it’s your first experience of studying abroad. However Dr Md Yusof Hamid found that, with the help his supervisors and friendly University staff, he managed to settle in… and now he actually misses the place!
Prior to starting his doctoral studies Yusof had been engaged in the Centre for Facilities Management research and consultation, “specifically around strategic facilities management and its associations with EuroFM”. However, in Malaysia a PhD is a pre-requisite for an academic career, so after being given study leave and sponsorship by the Malaysian government and Mara University of Technology, Yusof decided that Salford was the best place to undertake his research, as he explains “I wanted to study to an institution like this that prioritises good supervision practice and dedicated pastoral care of students. With the excellent reputation of Research Institute of Built and Human Environment (BUHU) and Centre for Facilities Management that was led by Professor Keith Alexander encouraged myself to study at Salford.”
Having travelled the 7,000 miles to undertake his PhD Yusof found that the challenge facing him was more than academic, “I need to adapt with UK living styles, education system, environment and its legislation. However with the help of my friends, supervisors, University administrator officer, Post Graduate Officer help me to settle down and focused to my PhD work. At the end of my study, I found that Salford is a better place to study with good living environment and friendly community within the University and City of Manchester.” Participating in events organised by his school also helped Yusof to gain confidence: “In fact I’m also presented partly of my PhD works in Euro Facilities Management conference held in Manchester in 2008. I’m also been awarded a Best Paper for final year PhD student category in the International Post Graduate Conference at Salford Quays, Manchester in 2009 organised by BuHu, School of Built Environment, University of Salford. This has provided me with the expertise to be able to approach my current job in a more creative and confidence way.” So it’s no surprise then that Yusof advises current PhD students to get involved too “gain knowledge as much as possible and join the activity with the Research Institute or Post Graduate Offices. They need to keep writing and getting feedback from their supervisors, colleagues and reviewers of conferences and journals. I advise them to take the opportunity to present papers at postgraduate workshops and conferences and also submit to journals. The most important point is to work along with your Supervisors and have regular weekly meeting whether with supervisor or his/her researcher team.”
Having been awarded his PhD Yusof returned to Malaysia to take up a position as Senior Building Surveying Lecturer at Mara University of Technology, and after six months he was appointed to the role of Deputy Rector (Academic Affairs) with responsibility for academic quality assurance. Yusof credits his time at Salford with helping him get to where he is today “Involvement with CFM, University of Salford helped me to build strong relationship with Ministry of Education, Malaysia and offered my expertise in FM and advised the Ministry in term of space management and strategic facilities management.” As to the future, Yusof has definite plans about his goals; in addition to his role as Deputy Rector, publishing is next on the agenda “In this year I will be finishing up the revisions on my manuscript for facilities management book which is due for publication in September 2014. I have several other projects on the go that I wish to pursue after that including research and consultation work with Ministry of Education, Malaysia.” Exciting times ahead for Dr Hamid then: it looks like the career of this gardener’s son will continue to grow!