UCL News


Seven questions with Shahid Janatmir

27 April 2017

This week, meet Shahid Janatmir, a Chemical Engineering (BSc) student and recipient of the

Seven questions with Shahid Janatmir ucl.ac.uk/campaign/campaign-news/scholarships-and-bursaries-reception-2017" target="_self">Dr John Elliot Undergraduate Bursary, who is set to graduate in 2020. Shahid is also the current President of UCLU Afghan Society and next academic year he will be a Student Academic Representative (StAR) for the Faculty of Engineering Engineering Faculty.

1. Why are you interested in chemical engineering and what do you plan to do in the future?

Chemical engineering is a subject of processing an input (usually raw material) and converting it into a high value product. The product could be directly used by the consumers or it may enter as a feed into another process to make another useful product.

Today's markets revolve around this simple yet complex idea. If these processes are performed sustainably, they serve as a basis for the development of the entire country or region.

By studying chemical engineering, I will be able to understand the principles that underlie these processes. Perhaps, one day I could use these principles in processing some of the thousands of raw materials that Afghanistan has on offer. That's the plan.

2. What is the most interesting thing you've done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?

I would say running for elections for a Faculty StAR has been by far the most interesting thing I have done so far. I met so many people, all individuals in their very own way. I am very excited and I look forward to raising issues that student face in the faculty.

3. Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?

  • Study space: G15 in DMS Science Library gets very quiet during early evening, you can set up your own little work station in comfort.
  • Coffee shop: although it's not hidden, Print Room Café would be my gem.    

4. Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:

  • Museums and galleries. Natural History Museum, Science Museum and National Gallery are my all-time favourites and they have amazing collections on display. Students have no excuses to not visit them, as they are free and easily accessible.
  • I think London is ideal for volunteering with organisations - I have been volunteering with Royal Society of Chemistry and Stem Learning and it has given me immense satisfaction.
  • A walk along the Thames in the summer. If I get tired of walking, which is usually what happens; I would relax in the refreshing ambience of Regents Park.  

5. If you were the Provost what one thing would you do?

I think, the Provost, Professor Michael Arthur has done a remarkable job for UCL but If I was to be the Provost, I would work on increasing the number of scholarships.

I believe scholarships are a good way of succouring those who are in financial hardships and awarding those who are hard-working.

I sincerely thank the donor of my scholarship, Dr John Elliott whose generosity is the reason for my well-being at UCL.      

6. Who inspires you and why?

My father, Janatmir Zadran. He was the first person not just from my family but from the whole village to attend a university. He is a truly hard working individual who fought against the odds to gift me and my siblings with an invaluable gift of education.

7. What would it surprise people to know about you?

I read Pashto, Persian and Urdu poetry and sometimes write Pashto poems too. More than anyone, I was surprised myself when I read that my favourite poet, Ghani Khan, was also a chemical engineer.  

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