20 May 2024

Nurul Hidayah Mohamad Nor

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Menangkis raksasa narsistik itu

Berhadapan dengan pelbagai jenis karakter individu adalah sesuatu yang kita semua alami, terutamanya di tempat kerja dewasa ini. Salah satu karakter yang semakin banyak ditemui dan sering menimbulkan cabaran unik di persekitaran kerja ini adalah narsisisme.

Is it contagious, by any chance?

From the attack at the Ulu Tiram, Johor police station on 17 May 2024 to the arrest of two men with ‘parang’ who tried to trespass into the palace grounds, to the recent arrest of a man who tried to attack the Datuk Keramat police station in Penang, people are constantly kept on edge on what’s going to happen next.

Manfaatkan dahulu kebebasan yang ada

Kebebasan akademik merupakan roh yang menghidupkan masyarakat universiti. Tanpa kebebasan akademik, masyarakat universiti tidak akan mampu mencetuskan idea-idea baharu. Tanpa kebebasan akademik juga, masyarakat di sekitar universiti tidak akan menerima manfaat hasil kewujudan universiti.

Are we ready to lose them?

Unless serious action is taken immediately, we should brace ourselves and be ready to say goodbye to our beloved Malayan tigers.

Creating necessity for unity

1969 was a year etched in history for vastly different reasons on opposite sides of the globe. In the United States, the Woodstock symbolised a cultural revolution by bringing together over 400,000 people in a massive music festival that celebrated peace, love, and music. Meanwhile, the moon landing on 20 July not only showcased American ingenuity and technological prowess but also cemented US dominance in the space race, marking a significant achievement in mankind’s scientific exploration (and Cold War rivalry).

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“To be honest, I am not quite sure what my ambition was when I was young. But what I am certain of was that I want to do something important for myself and the country. And now, being able to identify myself as a particle physicist working at Universiti Malaya; is quite an achievement, I must say,” said this cheerful Kelantanese when met in her laboratory recently.

Apart from conducting her own PhD research, Nurul Hidayah is a research officer who is in charge of, not one, but three research centres at UM, namely the National Centre for Particle Physics (NCPP), the Low Dimensional Material Research Centre (LDMRC), and the Centre for Printable Electronics (CPE). From grant applications to managing research interns, her hands are quite full in managing these centres on daily basis.

But that did not stop this nasi dagang lover from continuing her real passion: doing research in the area of high energy physics (HEP). “I work on developing detector material for HEP applications, including simulation and synthesis of 2D materials such as graphene.

“I really enjoyed working on the area, knowing that there is a vast potential for the applications in developing various highly accurate detectors and sensors in the future. My motivation went overdrive when given the opportunity for research attachment at Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland for 3 months in 2019,” beamed Nurul Hidayah.

When asked on tips to be shared with other aspiring scientists, this microelectronics engineering graduate said: “Never be afraid to explore. Even though particle physics has been dominated by male scientists, from the likes of Niels Bohr to Peter Higgs to Stephen Hawking, there are still ample opportunities for everyone to contribute. Equip yourself with some technical skills, and fill the rest with the right amount of one secret ingredient: unlimited curiosity.”

Send her an email at nurulhidayah@um.edu.my if you would like to drop by her laboratory to see how a real scientist conduct her work. It would be great if you could bring along a serving of cold mango juice to be shared, ya?

📸 Mohd. Yani Alias for PPP