My student experience
Dr Lina Fahmi Hammad
Dr Hammad graduated with an MSc Medical Physics 1983 and is Dean at Princess Nourah University, the only female university in Saudi Arabia. She is the first Saudi female graduate from King Saud University and the first Saudi MSc and PhD holder in medical physics. She was named as Alumna of the Year for 2016 in the Vice-Chancellor’s Alumni Awards.
What does it mean to you to be chosen as Surrey’s Alumna of the Year?
It was an honour and received with great pleasure. It demonstrates the great relationship the University of Surrey is building with it students and graduates
What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study here?
The high reputation of the University was an important factor, in addition to the up-to-date facilities and laboratory.
What were the best things about your course?
The strength of the medical physics master programme is an important factor. Its collaboration with many universities and hospitals allowed the students a variety of scientific, practical and clinical experiences.
How did you change as a person during your time as a Surrey student?
Studying as a wife and a mother of two was not an easy task. Time management and dedication to my studies were the most important properties I have learned and implemented. The encouragement of my husband, family, the head of the medical physics master programme and staff were really inspirational
Not to mention that I picked up the love of gardening as a hobby during my time at Surrey!
You are the first Saudi female MSc and PhD holder in medical physics – do you see yourself as a role model for female students and advocate for higher education?
I believe that education is a must for all females and as a dean I have encouraged and helped many Saudi females to pursue their higher studies, both abroad and locally.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
Strategic planning and education is my passion. I love the inspiration I give to my staff and students. We have more than 1,600 female students and approximately 140 academic staff and 60 administration staff. Helping them to achieve and being creative is really one of my goals.
What are the challenges?
There are many challenges, though I have learned to be creative and convincing to others to overcome them.
What do you consider to be a career highlight/achievement?
Being awarded the Alumna of the Year by the University of Surrey is definitely one of them. Being awarded a bronze medal for one of my innovations is another.
However, I consider that the success of my family (three girls, two boys) my highest achievement.
What are your aspirations/goals for the future?
The goals are too many! Some are related to my career others to my family.
Increasing scientific research is an important goal. Opening postgraduate programmes for females within Princess Nourah University is another. With the engagement of two of my daughters, I am looking forward to looking after grandchildren.
What advice would you give to students who want to pursue a career in your field?
When I am asked about medical physics as a career my only answer is “Go for it”.