July 9, 2024

A chemical engineer from Syria is happy with her competence portfolio after studies

“While studying at KTU, I became more and more interested in innovations that are being developed under the topic of climate action,” says Elessar Mhana, a fresh-out-of-KTU graduate of Chemical Technology and Engineering from Syria.

Today, holding the diploma in her hands, with an offered internship at Jülich Research Institute for Sustainable Hydrogen Economy in Germany, she plans to pursue a master’s at Kaunas University of Technology, an Erasmus+ study exchange semester and a hydrogen systems career-focused final thesis internship abroad.

“I want to develop a career in the chemical systems’ design and simulations while pursuing an area of my interest – hydrogen systems,” says Elessar.

Affordable studies in English – at KTU

Originally from Syria, Elessar graduated from a high school in Côte d’Ivoire. For her bachelor’s degree, she chose KTU as “it has some of the most modern and largest laboratories in the EU while being among the most affordable English studies options.”

She has always been fond of chemistry and interested in learning the different parameters and methods that are used to control and design chemical reactions. Although, initially, the young chemical engineer wanted to research fuels used in spaceships and dreamed of joining the space industry, the knowledge gained during the studies, made her change her plans.

“I found it fascinating how broad the areas of chemical engineering are, and through the sustainable development module at KTU, I gathered more interest in sustainable technologies,” explains Elessar.

During her two-year semester project in fuel cells and an internship in flow chemistry, her dream career started to take shape – now she is most interested in working with the development of hydrogen systems.

Lithuanian cities never cease to surprise you

She mostly valued the varied learning opportunities at the university – combining the main studies with extra interdisciplinary classes, internships, semester projects, part-time tutoring, extracurriculars, volunteering and conferences.

“There are multiple opportunities for building academic and soft skills, which was very beneficial and allowed me to put together a strong CV by the time I graduated,” says KTU chemical engineering graduate.

One thing she would have changed in her studies is having larger classes, as “knowing more people in your field allows more space for creativity, discovering opportunities, and connections.”

Elessar is one of those students who started university during the pandemic, in 2020. The beginning of her academic journey was not easy, she admits – the country was in lockdown until spring with limited activities available after classes. However, by the summertime, she was already loving the greenery and nature of Lithuania.

“Living here year after year, I understood that you will always end up discovering something new and exciting around the corner if you look closer. Kaunas and Vilnius never cease to surprise you – the lakes, forests, hidden gems of the city, the cosy events, the easy-going atmosphere is something I grew to love,” says Elessar.

She hasn’t decided yet, where her next endeavour will take her, but a young professional plans to go wherever she can best fulfil her career ambitions – in Lithuania or abroad.

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