Mohamed Salem’s passion for mechatronics made him pursue a study programme in Autonomous Systems and Robotics in Information and Communications Engineering. Originally from Egypt, he was awarded the University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarship and pursued his Master in Klagenfurt. He is currently working as a Senior Specialist at Infineon Technologies while also working as a lecturer at the University of Klagenfurt and pursuing his Ph.D. In our interview he talks about his journey from university student to lecturer, his experiences as a Technology Scholarship holder and his advice for students.
Tell us about yourself. Where do you come from? Why did you decide on your desired study program?
I am Mohamed Salem, originally from Egypt, and I come from a family that values education and hard work. I chose my desired study program, Autonomous Systems and Robotics in Information and Communications Engineering, due to my passion for mechatronics and my aspiration to continue pursuing my interest in robotics and AI.
Why did you choose the University of Klagenfurt?
Actually, I chose the University of Klagenfurt for several reasons. Firstly, the university offered cutting-edge research opportunities in robotics and AI. Additionally, the welcoming and inclusive community, along with the stunning natural beauty of the city and its surroundings, made it an ideal environment for academic growth. Lastly, the university’s commitment to diversity and innovation resonated with my values, making it a perfect fit for my educational journey.
An unforgettable experience during my studies was …
An unforgettable experience during my studies was the opportunity to work as a research intern in the transportation informatics lab at the University of Klagenfurt. It was a valuable and transformative experience that allowed me to apply my knowledge and skills in a real-world environment. Working alongside knowledgeable professors and researchers deepened my understanding of robotics and AI. It was a remarkable experience that shaped my academic and professional growth.
What advice would you give to today’s students?
My advice to today’s students is to embrace their passions and pursue subjects that genuinely excite them. I encourage them to view challenges as opportunities for growth and to seek support and mentorship from teachers, mentors and peers. Embracing diversity and collaboration, staying curious, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are also crucial. Students should not fear failure but see it as a stepping stone to learn and grow. They should stay adaptable, open to change, and build a strong network of connections. Most importantly, they should believe in themselves, trust their abilities, and never stop pursuing their dreams. Education is a lifelong journey of personal growth, and students should embrace it with dedication, perseverance, and an unwavering belief in their potential.
What do you like most about your life in Carinthia?
I love living in Carinthia, because of the beautiful nature, like the stunning lakes and mountains. Being surrounded by such natural beauty brings me joy and peace. I also enjoy the diverse and friendly community, with friends from different countries. Feeling safe and secure allows me to fully enjoy outdoor activities. The region’s rich culture and traditions add to the excitement of living here. Overall, my life in Carinthia is filled with a strong connection to nature, wonderful friendships, a sense of safety, and a vibrant cultural environment.
You came to Klagenfurt as a University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarship holder. What was it like to be a scholarship holder? How did you benefit from the scholarship? Would you recommend to other prospective students to apply?
Being a University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarship holder was an amazing experience. The scholarship helped me a lot by providing financial support for my studies and living expenses. It also gave me access to great resources and facilities at the university. I had the chance to work with talented professors and researchers and be involved in research projects. The scholarship opened doors for internships and practical training, allowing me to gain practical skills and make connections in the industry. It also gave me the opportunity to meet students from different backgrounds and make lifelong friends. I would definitely recommend applying for this scholarship to other students because it offers great support, resources and a supportive community for personal and academic growth.
What is the biggest advantage of being a Technology Scholarship holder?
The greatest advantage of being a Technology Scholarship holder is the comprehensive support provided by OeAD and the university throughout the academic journey. Alongside financial assistance, the scholarship program offers guidance and assistance in various aspects, including relocating to Austria, completing paperwork, and even caring and helping during internships. This level of support ensures a smooth transition and allowed me to focus on my studies and internships without unnecessary burdens. The program’s commitment to providing a nurturing and inclusive environment demonstrates its dedication to the success and well-being of the scholarship holder. By offering assistance in internships, the program goes the extra mile in helping students gain practical experience and fostering their professional development. Overall, being a Technology Scholarship holder means having a strong support system that genuinely cares about the students’ academic and career growth.
Would you also recommend other prospective students to apply for the Technology Scholarships? Can you tell us why?
I highly recommend prospective students apply for the Technology Scholarships. The scholarships offer financial support, access to exceptional resources, mentorship, and a vibrant community. They provide a solid foundation for academic and personal growth, enhance professional prospects, and create a supportive network. Applying for the Technology Scholarships is a pathway to success, personal development, and a rewarding educational experience.
Thanks to the University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarships programme, many qualified and motivated students from all over the world have been able to take up studies at AAU and start internship/part-time employment at local ICT companies. Today, you are working at Infineon Technologies and as a lecturer at the University of Klagenfurt. Please tell us a little bit more about your successful career path and your current position and responsibilities at Infineon Technologies.
As a Senior Specialist in R&D of Codesign, Digitalization, and AI at Infineon Technologies, my role encompasses diverse responsibilities. I am responsible for developing and maintaining software tools that enhance performance in our CoDesign work environment. By leveraging my expertise, I strive to create high-performing solutions that streamline processes and optimize productivity.
In addition to software development, I have the privilege of working with cutting-edge technologies, particularly Digitization and AI, to drive development and digitalization efforts. This allows me to stay at the forefront of innovation, exploring the potential of these advanced tools to transform our industry.
Can you tell us more about your work as a lecturer?
I mentor and teach Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. students in the field of Autonomous Driving Cars. This dual role allows me to bridge the gap between academia and industry, sharing practical insights gained from my professional experiences.
How has your career evolved? What was responsible for your success?
Throughout my career, I have received invaluable guidance and support from esteemed professors and supervisors, including Professor Kyamakya, which has had a great influence on my professional growth. By prioritizing my studies and striving for excellence, I graduated with the highest possible grade, showcasing my dedication to academic success. I credit my achievements to my ability to listen, embrace constructive feedback, and consistently put in the effort needed to excel. This approach has not only propelled my academic journey but has also equipped me with the skills and mindset to thrive in my current role at Infineon Technologies.
My career path has been shaped by the University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarships program, providing me with invaluable opportunities. With a focus on software development, digitalization, and AI, I am committed to making a significant impact in advancing our work environment and contributing to the growth and progress of the industry. By continuously exploring new possibilities and staying dedicated to technological advancements, I strive to drive innovation, push boundaries, and make a meaningful difference in both academia and industry.
What is it about your job that you particularly enjoy?
I am grateful for the diversity and support I experience in my job. My colleagues are kind and encouraging, and my managers provide valuable guidance. Each day brings new opportunities for learning and growth. The work community promotes innovation and gives me the freedom to explore new ideas. The responsibilities entrusted to me contribute to my career development. These factors make my job enjoyable and foster both personal and professional success. I am fortunate to be part of such a supportive and inspiring environment.
Tell us a little bit more about your internship experience. How long did your internship last and which tasks did you have as an intern?
During my internship and master’s thesis, spanning 7 months and 6 months, respectively, I collaborated with a talented group of university students, focusing on implementing cutting-edge AI technologies in the fields of Electronics and Semiconductors. I also developed techniques for data processing and automating complex augmentation methodologies, which contributed significantly to project success. These advancements have the potential to enhance data performance for future students. Working in a collaborative environment, we pushed the boundaries of innovation and optimized our processes to improve efficiency and accuracy. The outcomes showcased the transformative power of AI in real-world applications. Additionally, I am committed to sharing my insights and findings to empower upcoming students. Collaboration and knowledge exchange are crucial for progress in this rapidly evolving field. Overall, my journey allowed me to contribute to AI advancement and pioneer innovative techniques. I am eager to continue driving innovation and making a lasting impact in the field.
In your opinion, why should prospective internship providers consider supporting a programme like University of Klagenfurt Technology Scholarships?
Supporting the program brings talented students, collaboration opportunities, a positive impact on the future workforce, and enhances an internship provider’s employer brand and reputation.
What advice would you give to future scholarship holders?
As I bring this chapter of my life to a close, I cannot help but reflect on the past two years. It seems like only yesterday when I was unable to speak German, communicate with people daily, or even drive through the bustling streets of the city. The mere thought of achieving these milestones seemed like a distant dream, but here I am today, having made the impossible possible. Looking back on this incredible journey, I am filled with a sense of overwhelming gratitude for the experiences, challenges, and growth that have brought me to where I am today. It is a reminder that with dedication, persistence, and an unwavering belief in oneself, anything is possible. So, I humbly share my words of wisdom with those navigating through tough challenges: never surrender your dreams. Have faith in yourself and your potential, and don’t hesitate to reach out for support when the going gets tough. By pouring in your heart and soul, staying committed, and embracing risks, you can accomplish anything you aspire to. Remember, every hurdle you overcome is a testament to your resilience and strength, paving the way for a brighter tomorrow.
What are your future goals?
In addition to my career aspirations, I am also dedicated to sharing knowledge and fostering the growth of the younger generation. I am committed to continuing my teaching endeavors, providing guidance and support to aspiring students, and promoting a culture of knowledge sharing. I believe that by empowering others with the tools and skills they need, we can collectively drive innovation and make a significant impact on society.
Furthermore, I have a strong desire to pursue a Ph.D. degree to deepen my understanding of cutting-edge technologies and gain further research experience. This will enable me to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in my field and engage in impactful research projects. I am excited about the prospect of diving deeper into academic research and collaborating with experts in the field to address complex challenges and make significant contributions to the scientific community.
Overall, my future goals encompass a combination of professional growth, teaching and mentorship, and research endeavors. By pursuing these aspirations, I aim to make a lasting impact in the field of technology, inspire future generations, and contribute to the collective knowledge in my area of expertise.