"Having an experienced supervisor in my research area has been invaluable to me throughout my PhD journey... their unwavering support and encouragement have significantly boosted my self-confidence, especially in times when I needed it the most."
CourseInformation and Communication Systems PhD
Within the realm of Haptic Communication, our project focuses on a specific subset that involves enhancing immersive experiences in virtual environments by incorporating the sense of touch. By exploring ways to enable and replicate tactile sensations, we aim to contribute to the development of technologies that provide users with a more realistic and engaging experiences in various fields, such as gaming, simulation and telecommunication.
Why did you choose to come to Surrey?
I chose Surrey for several reasons.
Firstly, the Institute for Communication Systems (ICS) is one of the best information and communication centres in Europe. This reputation for excellence in my field greatly appealed to me and reaffirmed my decision to pursue my studies here.
Second, Guildford was a very appealing location. Not only is it a nice, quiet town, but it also provides easy access to a plethora of beautiful hiking destinations. What's more, being a mere 40 minutes from London means I can indulge in a wide array of exciting activities whenever I feel like it.
Finally, the campus itself is truly magnificent. As a PhD student, my studies require substantial time spent on campus. Consequently, having the privilege of studying in such a remarkable environment enhances the quality of my life during this important phase of my educational journey.
From my initial research and interactions, it became evident that the University fosters a supportive and helpful atmosphere in various ways.
What course(s) did you study before undertaking your PhD, and where did you study?
I completed my BSc in electrical engineering and my MSc in digital electronics at Amirkabir University of Technology in Iran.
Why did you choose to study your PhD?
I decided to do a PhD because it would develop my analytical and research skills. Doctoral studies encourage critical thinking, problem-solving and the ability to analyse complex issues, which are all things that are also useful outside of academia.
I also think a PhD can open doors to a diverse range of career opportunities as it equips you with the expertise and knowledge required for higher-level roles in industry.
"The journey of continuous learning has been immensely enjoyable for me, as I have always had a passion for acquiring new knowledge. It’s been challenging and exciting, and it’s led me to expand my boundaries and grow."
Why are you passionate about your subject?
I find the evolution of technology towards the internet of senses, where additional sensations like touch are integrated into virtual environments, truly fascinating. As someone deeply interested in technology, the opportunity to contribute to this journey and bring us closer to this immersive experience is incredibly exciting. I believe the ISC is an ideal place for me to realise this goal and make meaningful progress towards this objective.
What have you enjoyed most about your PhD? Have you made any exciting research discoveries?
Engaging in my research project has not only allowed me to expand my knowledge in various areas but it’s also provided the opportunity to delve deeper into subjects that I was already familiar with. This journey of continuous learning has been immensely enjoyable for me, as I have always had a passion for acquiring new knowledge. It’s been challenging and exciting, and it’s led me to expand my boundaries and grow.
How has your supervisor helped you to achieve your aims?
Having an experienced supervisor in my research area has been invaluable to me throughout my PhD journey. Their deep understanding of the complexities and challenges associated with research has been instrumental in helping me navigate and find direction for my own research. Moreover, their unwavering support and encouragement have significantly boosted my self-confidence, especially in times when I needed it the most.
How much opportunity has there been for collaboration during your PhD, either with researchers and academics at Surrey or with external organisations or companies?
During my first year at the University, I was fortunate to engage with academics from various departments and even from other universities. These interactions have provided me with valuable opportunities to discuss my project and exchange ideas with experts in different fields. They have been enriching experiences and have allowed me to gain insights and perspectives that have further shaped and refined my research.
Are you part of any clubs or societies? How have they contributed to your Surrey experience?
I love being a member of the volleyball club, Team Surrey Volleyball. Volleyball has always been an interest of mine, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a team and actively engage in the sport again. In addition to the health benefits derived from participating in a sport, being part of the club has allowed me to expand my social circle and make new friends who share a common passion. Moreover, the regular training sessions and competitions have fostered a mindset of determination and perseverance, motivating me to strive towards achieving my goals.
Have you lived in University accommodation? If so, what is it like?
I live in Manor Park, a beautiful student village located close to Surrey Sports Park. Living in this environment has significantly contributed to a high quality of life for me. The beautiful surroundings and well-maintained facilities provide a pleasant atmosphere.
How do you spend your time on campus?
While I typically spend a significant amount of time at my desk in the ICS, I make a conscious effort to take breaks and enjoy the beauty of the nearby lake. Being near The Hideout coffee shop on the Stag Hill campus provides a convenient option for getting a delicious cup of coffee - it adds a touch of indulgence to my routine!
What has been your best moment at Surrey so far?
If I had to select one standout moment from my time so far (from plenty of wonderful memories!), sharing a dinner with friends and teammates from the volleyball team stands out. The festive atmosphere, the bonds of friendship and the delectable food were very memorable.
Do you feel supported at Surrey?
In my time at Surrey, I’ve always been encouraged to openly communicate any issues or concerns. I've always felt supported by all the staff, who have been helpful and kind.
As an international student, the process of applying for a visa can often be complex. The guidance and support Surrey offers to students when navigating the application process is very valuable.
Do you have any advice for students thinking about postgraduate study?
Postgraduate study is a significant investment of time, energy and resources. Take the time to thoroughly research and reflect on your decision to ensure it aligns with your aspirations and will contribute to your personal and professional growth.
What do you plan to do following your PhD course?
Currently, I’m still contemplating whether my future lies in academia or in industry as a researcher. One of the aspects of pursuing a PhD is that it opens doors to both career paths.
Find out more about our Information and Communication Systems PhD.