Siti Hazneza Abdul Hamid
Wood density has been established as a major factor that affects wood erosion. We however feel that the relationship of wood density and surface erosion is not that straight forward. Hence this study aims to find other factors that play as much role if not more than density in characterizing wood surface erosion. We look forward to test the hypothesis by having samples of similar density but vary in growth rate and anatomical structure. We are also testing the effects of orientation, chemical modification, biocide treatment and metal interactions (usually fasteners in practical) on wood erosion. The most exciting part is that we have a confocal profilometer (worth a Ferrari) in our lab that is capable to detect erosion up to nano scale. This means that we should be able to get results in shorter time as compared to previous studies. We are looking forward to see those 3D images.
What do you hope to accomplish with your research?
While this research cannot solve all problems related to wood weathering, I do hope that it explains in further details the findings of others. By adding new information to the body of knowledge in this area, it will be a joy if this research opens new pathways for the next researcher to build on.
What are your future career goals?
After getting my PhD, insya Allah, I will go back and teach in my home university. I want to design teaching methods that integrate research skills and scientific writing skills that I found lacking. I would prefer my future students to be able to explain their findings rather than bulking up their reports with throw-everything-in information and massaging their data to get 'perfect' figures. I would like my class to be as enjoyable as those of my teachers'.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
When I was offered the Academic Staff Training Scheme, I was asked to choose another place than the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The program chairman then asked if I would have any problem to go to Canada, which, I didn’t. My supervisor then suggested UBC because British Columbia is rich with forest and forest products. She suggested that I contact Dr. Evans and emails after emails, here I am.
What has been your most memorable Vancouver experience so far?
Living for a week in Richmond and having to catch the first bus at 6.45am with my firstborn only 3 months old and my husband and I did not know that we can bring a stroller on the bus so we kept folding it :-D First time we saw snow and... that's it? Having our second baby here. The public transport is good and the people... always have something positive to say.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Contact your supervisor ahead and know what exactly your research area would be so you can do some preparation. Understand the time line and the graduate study system and requirements; your supervisor may not be aware of these. Arrange for accommodation and check weather broadcast before you fly :-)
Personal Interests / Hobbies
I love reading, can't really stand not having anything to read other than study materials. I enjoy writing; I have five published Malay novels back home. Cooking is done on a daily basis; the hobby I guess is in the passion to try out new recipes and improvising. I miss hiking, camping and nature walking; used to do at least one of those every month. Though I am not very good in sports, I enjoy watching sports-inspired movies.