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For Dr Minoo Naebe, applying for a research scholarship at Deakin University was the best move of her life.
“I came to Deakin from my home city of Isfahan in Iran to do my PhD,” she said.
“It was a huge decision for me, but it has proven to be the best move I have ever made.
“I now have my PhD and am now working at Deakin as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow.”
Dr Naebe says the early support she received when she arrived at Deakin was pivotal to her becoming a successful researcher.
“The great art of Australia,” she says, “is to make a foreigner feel welcome.
“I arrived in Australia, a young person abroad for the first time without much experience in communicating in English, at 1am. There was a person from Deakin at the airport to pick me up.
“An inn had already been booked for me when we got back to Geelong. When I came to the university I found the environment very supportive and friendly. They helped me to settle down. Now I have many, many friends, and from all over the world.”
Since joining Deakin Minoo has become an award-winning researcher.
She was a member of the Deakin team that won the NanoVic Prize 2005 for Innovation and Nanotechnology.
In 2008 she was selected as one of the two PhD students from Australia to attend the Asia Nanotech Camp in Japan and won the Nanotechnology Ambassador Award the same year.
Dr Minoo Naebe, was a member of the Deakin University, CSIRO and Futuris research team that wonthe Automotive Engineering Excellence silver award (2010) for the application of 3D knitted composite structures for lightweight automotive interior products.
Her work has also been featured on ABC Radio National’s Science Show when she was interviewed by Robyn Williams.
Dr Naebe’s current research interests include developing novel multi-scale composites for light weight ballistic armour and structural aerospace/automotive composites.
From her early days in the historical city of Isfahan - Iran’s third largest and a textile centre famous for its Persian rugs - Minoo Naebe was destined to become a scientist, and to travel the world.
“I really had a passion about science because I believe science teaches you how to look at your life, how to live your life in a very smart way,” she said.
“I didn’t just look at the things as they are. I really did like to go beyond that to see what is behind the appearance.
“As well as doing my study, the other thing that was always my dream was to meet new people and experience a new environment.”
Deakin University - now like Isfahan renowned for its expertise in fibres and textiles - has helped take her on that magic carpet ride.
“Isfahan is a very beautiful city, with many old buildings, some 1500 years old. Although home is always home when I travel now it is Australia I miss,” she says.
Minoo discovered Deakin University and the brilliant team of researchers led by Professor Xungai Wang via the Internet.
“I doubt that without that sort of technology, I would ever have become aware of this place in Australia, or the people here,” she said. “I am so glad I did.
“I remember writing to Xungai and getting a reply telling me about the post graduate scholarship scheme, so I applied.
“Getting the letter from Deakin University telling me I had got the award, that is one of the unforgettable moments of my life. I just cried … with happiness.”