Abdelhakim Al Turk came to Wichita State University to study engineering from Lebanon. Throughout his time in Wichita, he has appreciated the mentorship and hands-on experience he’s gotten from the College of Engineering and through his work at the Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing Lab.
Abdelhakim is one of more than 1,200 students eligible for fall 2020 graduation. Learn more about his time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.
What is your degree in?
I will be earning a Master of Science in industrial engineering with a concentration in additive manufacturing, and quality and reliability.
What led you to Wichita State to begin with?
Like most of the students, I always wanted to travel and study abroad. After some Google search, I found that Wichita State was offering many new programs and certifications, so I applied, and I was lucky enough to be accepted. Wichita State is pretty good at a lot of stuff, so I am guaranteed to be taught by the best people.
How are you feeling leading up to graduation?
Despite all of the raging emotions trying to get in the way of my glory, happiness is by far the most powerful. I am finally being rewarded for all the hard work I put into school. I am a superstar, and this is my day to own.
What has been your most helpful learning experience while a student at Wichita State?
My most helpful learning experience as a student was my work at Wichita State. I worked as a graduate teaching assistant and laboratory supervisor for the Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing Lab for two years. My work and my supervisor, Professor Gamal Weheba, provided me with a valuable network of contacts to look to for references and advice post-graduation. I learned to juggle multiple tasks with multiple deadlines, as well as forward with my own goals and responsibilities while helping others progress. Teaching students is truly a rewarding experience.
What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?
Homesickness was the biggest challenge for me, especially in the first few weeks. I was missing my family and friends in Lebanon. I beat this homesickness by calling the parents every few days and by visiting my family during the holidays.
What are your plans after graduation?
I am planning to continue working on my research after graduation. I am now trying to use the additive manufacturing and 3D Printing techniques to print concrete houses. So my plan is to go for a Ph.D. in industrial engineering at Wichita State. Maybe I will be able to create a new machine that prints concrete houses.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?
COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives. In my case, for example, my graduation was postponed. I was planning to graduate at the end of spring 2020, but the laboratories were closed, I could not meet the deadline and couldn't finish my project hours at the time. In addition to that, as a teacher assistant, I lost the direct contact that I had with students. We shifted all courses online, and we meet students on Zoom only. This makes me very sad. I hope we will be back to normal life next semester.
What advice would you give other Wichita State students?
I advise students to break large tasks down into manageable subtasks. Large jobs rarely can be completed in one sitting. Tackle small parts of an enormous task each day, and avoid cramming