Ms Doaa El-Sakout

AIMS South Africa 2011
Applying mathematical science to petroleum engineering

Ms Doaa El-Sakout, was born in the shadows of the great pyramids in Giza, Egypt. When she was young, her late-father instilled an ever-lasting love for mathematics as he constantly pushed her to go further in her education. She dreamed of becoming a mathematics teacher, which she achieved by earning a first Bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Education at the Helwan University in 2004, and a second Bachelor’s degree in mathematics at the Faculty of Science from Cairo University in 2006.

“The future is bright for me, and for Africa, thanks to AIMS”

Working as a teaching assistant at Cairo University, she then earned her Master’s degree in applied mathematics in 2010. In the wake of the Arab Spring, Doaa left Egypt to attend AIMS to find her “own freedom, independence and future; to be my own revolutionary!”

At AIMS she was struck by the sheer passion and quality of international lecturers and teaching staff towards their students and course. The AIMS lecturers connected what she was studying with everyday life. On graduation day, she was awarded the prestigious Stephen Hawking Scholarship, which is one of only five scholarships awarded to AIMS South Africa graduates each year. “My heart and my family swelled with immense pride when I received this award. All my hard work, all my father’s efforts for me as a young child were rewarded. I know I have made my father proud.”

With the assistance of the Post-AIMS Bursary program she was able to apply for a PhD program at Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. “I was successfully accepted to study applied mathematician to conduct a joint PhD between the mathematics department and the petroleum engineering one.” She is working on a mathematical model to forecast the trend of availability of certain resources like oil. Through mathematical modelling she is able to provide a range in between two different numbers which represents the most accurate forecast for a natural resource reservoir.

Looking back on her time at AIMS, Doaa feels “prepared to go on and make a lasting contribution to Africa through the skills I learnt here. I hope to return to my home country soon and use my research to focus on the petroleum sector.”

Story and photo courtesy of Matteo Besana