Jordanian student becomes first dual PhD holder at UAE's oldest university

Ameera Fares achieved the feat by studying in Al Ain and Belgium

Ameera Fares from Jordan obtained a PhD in Chemical Engineering from United Arab Emirates University and KU Leuven in Belgium simultaneously.
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Dr Ameera Fares has a unique title - she is the first dual doctorate holder at the UAE’s oldest university.

Dr Fares, 39, obtained a PhD in chemical engineering from United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain and KU Leuven in Belgium simultaneously this year.

The Jordanian student took five years to achieve the feat.

“I have had the unique honour of obtaining my doctorate in chemical engineering from not one but two world-renowned universities under the auspices of professors from United Arab Emirates University and KU Leuven," Dr Fares said.

“I can't express how proud and happy I feel to have this unique degree.

“The opportunity to gain my dual PhD has been a life-changing experience. I had the opportunity to gain international research experience that has been an invaluable step in my research journey.”

She hopes more students think of working to secure dual PhDs in the future.

"This academic experience was very special and qualified me to utilise the best research facilities in both universities and collaborate with my colleagues in order to achieve unique international experience," she said.

Dr Fares had to do coursework for both universities and travelled to Belgium to work at KU Leuven.

Agreements have now been signed between the universities to allow students to do coursework at one university or divide it between the two.

“I travelled twice during my PhD and conducted several experiments, as well as simulation at KU Leuven laboratories under the supervision of the lab engineers and the professor," Dr Fares said.

Prof Ali Al Marzouqi, dean of College of Graduate Studies at UAE University, said its partnership with KU Leuven presented an opportunity for students to study and conduct joint academic research with international colleagues.

They can also benefit from a diverse international experience, he said.

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Updated: July 08, 2022, 3:00 AM