Research: Shooka’s research is focused on finding candidate materials that could be used in high temperature, wet oxidizing environments. “Most materials react with the environment around them, especially if oxygen and water vapour is present. Materials could undergo high temperature oxidation and get corroded in this type of environment.” New materials increase the efficiency of applications, and ensure the safety of people working in high temperature environments such as power plants.
Learning as much as she can: “I’m lucky that I’m working with two supervisors and two mentors, Dr. Joey Kish and Dr. Gianluigi Botton. They are both amazing people and they taught me that sometimes, there can be mistakes in your research and that’s OK. You always learn from your mistakes. They also taught me a lot about my project and they always pushed me to try more and learn as much as I can.”
A sense of belonging: “I was born in Tehran, Iran. I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Tehran and then I moved to Canada to pursue my Master’s. When I arrived to Canada, I was alone and I didn’t know anybody. My family was back in Iran and I missed them. But the moment I arrived at the airport, I realized everyone was so friendly and I didn’t feel like I was someone from outside. I felt that I belonged here and that this was the place I can live in and progress in my work.”
Valuable advice for international graduate students: “Break the wall and talk to others. Let them know that even though you are from somewhere outside the country, you can be very successful in Canada. Also, don’t wait for others to talk to you. Try to make lots of friends and enjoy the time that you have in Canada.”
Reaching for the ultimate goal: “I would like to become a professor. That’s my long-term goal, and I’m trying so hard for it. Currently, I’m a sessional faculty member in our department and I teach the first year Materials course. I try to focus on my goal and do as much as I can to accomplish it. I would be honoured to be a professor at McMaster so I hope to stay.”
“The moment I arrived at the airport, I realized everyone is so friendly and I didn’t feel like I was someone from outside. I felt that I belonged here and that this was the place I can live in and progress in my work.”