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Faten ABI FARRAJ, Group Research and Development Specialist at ACTS



Merci beaucoup pour votre interview.


Why did you want to pursue a Ph.D. and where did it lead you?

After 4 years of working experience, my scientific curiosity led me to pursue Ph.D. studies. I wanted to develop my expertise in the civil engineering field and contribute to research by working on a subject that directly presents a practical solution to industrial problems.

Having an academic career was initially my goal, but the more I went deeper in my collaboration with the industry during my studies, the more I realized how valuable a Ph.D. holder can be to the industry to bring innovation to the field and develop the services provided to the clients.

Therefore, directly after finishing my thesis, I chose a career as a Research and Development Specialist in a reputable third-party engineering firm.


Your Ph.D. was a co-tutelle thesis between Lebanon and France. In your opinion, what advantages does this type of thesis present?

By pursuing a co-tutelle thesis, I had the privilege to learn from the immense knowledge and wide expertise of supervisors from two different backgrounds which enriched my experience and brought my work to a higher level.

Additionally, it helped me connect to a wider professional network, vastly promote my work, meet the academic standards of both institutions, and easily attend career development courses, conferences, and seminars in both countries.


In terms of personal values, what did your Ph.D. journey add?

The result of my Ph.D. journey is not only the degree. This journey helped me develop my personal skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, time management, communication, teamwork, and resilience skills.

During my Ph.D. studies, I learned to think and assess data critically, suggest creative solutions to many encountered problems, manage my time to respect deadlines, develop writing, speaking, and presentation skills, collaborate with my colleagues, work well under pressure, and adapt to changes and challenges encountered.


When someone asks you for advice on choosing between work experience and Ph.D. studies, what would you say?

In my opinion, a decision to pursue a Ph.D. is completely a personal decision and depends on each individual’s long-term goals and interests. So, my advice is to clearly define the goals and take the decision accordingly.

But I would like to highlight that pursuing a Ph.D. can open up career advancements not only in academia and research field but in the industrial field as well. The technical and personal skills gained during Ph.D. studies are transferable skills that can be applied in all fields.


If you have to give Ph.D. students one tip, what would it be?

You may have known the famous quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “It's not the Destination, It's the journey.”

So, during your Ph.D. studies, I advise you to embrace failure, stay motivated, and enjoy your journey by always remembering that Ph.D. will not only add a lot to your career but will also contribute to your development at the personal level.



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