By Taruna Rapaka
Yasmine Marani is a control system engineering graduate from the National Polytechnic School of Algiers, Algeria. Yasmine aspires to engage in high-quality academic research and to participate in expanding her research field and its applications to real-world problems. She joined KAUST this spring as a Ph.D. candidate and member of the Estimation, Modeling, and Analysis Group under the supervision of Professor Taous-Meriem Laleg-Kirati.
Yasmine's initial learning experience at the University, its rank among global universities, and its impressive research infrastructure were the main reasons she chose to further her academic career.
What was your main subject during your master's degree? Why did you choose it?
I worked on control systems for my master's degree. The multidisciplinary aspect of this subject motivated my degree of choice. Control systems apply to several fields, including aerospace, robotics, biomedicine, and even fields that don't have a clear connection with control, such as economics. My master's thesis focused on developing new virtual sensors to monitor fouling evolution in desalination processes.
When did you first become interested in electrical and computer engineering? What are your research interests?
I had trouble choosing a field for my master's degree. I enjoyed learning mathematics, physics, chemistry, programming, and electronics and I struggled to choose only one discipline. It was not until my second year at university that I found what I was looking for: a field that combines all disciplines, control systems.
My research interests are as diverse: they include controller design, virtual sensors, learning observers, metaheuristic algorithms, and artificial intelligence.
What do you do in your spare time? What are you passionate about?
I enjoy watching stand-ups, comedy series, movies, and reading mangas, especially adventure and historical genres. I am also passionate about learning about other countries and their cultures. I like to learn about other countries' traditions, customs, and gastronomy.
What is your future outlook?
I aspire to engage in high-quality academic research where I can directly participate in expanding my field and its applications to real-world problems. KAUST provides the best environment to achieve my goals.
Can you give a piece of advice to students who plan to pursue a M.S./Ph.D. at KAUST?
I would advise them not just to focus solely on their work, but also to build a professional network and develop strong communication skills. As the famous saying goes: "It's not about what you know, but who you know."