of Physics and Astronomy Host Doctoral Students from Kazakhstan
TEXAS – OCTOBER 21, 2013 – Askar Kassymov
said teachers noticed he was good at mathematics while growing up in Semey,
Kazakhstan. But the 23 year old doctoral student ultimately chose physics to
pursue his career.
students began work in the nanoscience laboratories of Dr. Karen Martirosyan,
an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, in late
September. Kassymov is working on a thesis in technical physics and Saukhimov
is studying for a doctoral degree in nanotechnology and nanomaterials at Kazakh
National Technical University After K.I. Satpayev in Almaty in
southern Kazakhstan. The students are scheduled to end their nanophysics-based
research work at UTB in December and expect to graduate in 2015.
students relish the opportunities to work with laboratory equipment they have
not had experience with before. Some of the equipment that Martirosyan has
purchased with federal grant money include a Physical Property Measurement
System, a SDT Q600 Simultaneous TGA/DSC and a Compact Vacuum Oven.
has conducted experiments that have so far revealed an electric field forms
during the combustion synthesis of materials. Combustion synthesis is one
technique in Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis producing inorganic
compounds which lack carbon and hydrogen atoms.
of Almaty, Kazakhstan, said he is eager to study rare Earth elements.
purpose of our experiments was to analyze the magnetic and thermal properties
of YFe2O4 (Yttrium, Iron and Oxygen combined),” he said. “The thermal aspects
were observed up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.”
can be found in fuel cells, gas sensors and magnetic materials.
students had to adjust quickly to American life. Kassymov said the two had to
find electrical plug adaptors for their laptop computers and other technology
and SIM cards compatible with their cellular telephones.
are enjoying it very well,” said Kassymov. “When we looked at the map searching
for Brownsville it was not easy to find. We found it and look at it and thought
it was a very little city. When we came here we liked it. There are birds and
beautiful trees. People are the most important thing.”
physics students helped Kassymov and Saukhimov find an affordable apartment
near the university. The Kazakhstan students have been invited by some of the
university’s other international students to socialize.
and Saukhimov have had at least one “first” since they have been in
Brownsville: they swam in a large body of water for the first time when they
visited South Padre Island. Kazakhstan is landlocked except for a portion of
the western border on the Caspian Sea.
is very salty,” said Kassymov about the Gulf of Mexico. “I got a little
students have also tried local seafood and burritos and eaten at a local Asian
buffet restaurant. These are significant because Kassymov said Mexican and
Chinese cuisine is considered exotic in his home nation.
government of Kazakhstan is paying for the students’ time at UTB. The students
said they want to teach and continue research after graduation. Saukhimov said
his home nation, which became independent from the former Soviet Union in
December 1991, needs more doctorate-holding citizens in specialized fields.
must return and share this knowledge with the next generation,” said Kassymov.