Recently, we had the chance to interview Prof. Yousef Ibrahim to talk about his role as a professor, but also as an honorary Ambassador of Victoria and the many other professional occupations he has. He shared about his career and his vision for the Membership Development at IEEE IES, as well as some wise advices for young researchers.
You might even discover that, when Prof. Ibrahim is not working (on land), Yousef also has other interests in life (in the air and under the water)…
ITeN team: Dear professor, thanks a lot for being with us today, can you start by telling us about your profession and education background?
I am a Professor of Engineering (adjunct) with Federation University Australia, Gippsland, Australia.
I did my bachelor in Cairo in Egypt, then passed a Master degree in System Engineering in the UK at Brunel University in London.
I then received the Ph.D. degree in Robotics, Australia.
My research interests are Robotics, Mechatronics and industrial automation.
ITeN team: Are there any other professional missions you want to mention?
I served 10 years on the Ministerial Advisory Council, Minister for Innovation, Government of Victoria, Australia.
And I am currently appointed as an Honorary Ambassador of Melbourne, trying to project Melbourne to the world.
But I’m also:
- Reviewer of International Standing for Australian Research Council (ARC) competitive grants.
- Ph.D Supervisor for the University.
- Founder of the Gippsland Regional Automation Centre (GRACe) with a $1 Million budget.
- Founder of the Mechatronics degree program at Monash University Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur and Federation University, Australia
- Founder of 6 Mechatronics programs in Thailand (AusAID program to the Royal Thai Government).
- Founder of the Graduate Certificate in Reliability Engineering and the Master Degree in Maintenance and Reliability Engineering -postgraduate awards offered exclusively by Distance Education with more than 600 graduates thus far.
At IEEE IES, people knew me as a Vice-President for Workshops and as Vice-President for Conference Activities and subsequently as Vice-President for Membership Activities.
I have been the General Chair of several successful IEEE International conferences such as IEEE-ICIT 2019, Australia.
ITeN team: And, of course, you are also the IEEE-IES Vice-President for Memberships. What would be your mission in our society?
My mission is to make IES a truly “Members-focused Society”. To help our members, we need to support them wherever they are, because some cannot afford to come to us. That means supporting technical local activities and organizing regional conferences, for example in Center Africa, South East Asia, and Latin America. The strategy is working. For example our membership has recently doubled in Latin America. We also breaking new grounds in central Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria).
We need to make our society available for students too by establishing Student Branch Chapters at universities, where we can support their technical activities.
In a few words, we should invest in our only asset, in our volunteers (the Administration Committee). We also need to focus on and support our members at large wherever they are.
What we are doing is for humanity… Therefore I often say “advance your career – and the world”.
ITeN team: What would be the highlights of your career?
Of course, becoming an ambassador was a prestigious acknowledgement that I received from the State Government.
But I see highlights in many other projects that I carry, for example the Leadership for an Australian program in Thailand to establish Mechatronics programs in six Thai Universities. For 7 months, my aim was to help country in Asia to develop… Also, being on the Ministerial Advisory Council for 10 consecutive years to help shaping innovation at the State level was a rewarding task.
In all my missions, my main purpose is to influence people in a way to help them to be self-confident, and act for a better life and future.
ITeN team: And among all these professional occupations – if you sometimes manage to stop working – what are your hobbies?
I fly 2 hours every weekends, I even plan to buy my own Tobago or Cessna airplane.
I also am a diver; I like to dive in the Red Sea, the Great Barrier Reef and in Pacific Ocean. My last dive was just before Covid19 at the end of 2019 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfJcFCFue74).
And I raised 4 children, gave them love and support, encouraged them without telling them what to do.
…Thus, none of them became an engineer! (laughs). They’re all scientists (all Medical) though.
ITeN team: Finally, which advice(s) would you give to our young researchers?
Approach your career with an open mind, a positive attitude.
Take onboard all advises from the caring people, but don’t get disturbed by negative ambushes.
Keep focus on what you have to achieve, and always pursue your dream…
We would like to thank Professor Yousef Ibrahim again, for having accepted to be our first guest for an interview of this kind.
Stay tuned… because we will soon introduce other officers!