The University of Aberdeen is delighted to have five international alumni shortlisted for the prestigious Study UK Alumni Awards organised by the British Council.
The Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni from UK universities who are now living outside the UK, and showcase the global impact of these individuals as well as the value of a UK higher education.
The four award categories are Science and Sustainability, Culture and Creativity, Social Action and Business and Innovation.
Krisanaphong Poothakool from Thailand studied for an MRes in Social Research at the University from 2006 – 2007 and a PhD in Sociology from 2007 – 2012 and has been shortlisted for a Social Action Award.
He is currently the Assistant to the President and Chairman of the Faculty of Criminology and Justice Administration at Rangsit University following an impressive career in policing and criminology.
Having served as a frontline officer in the Royal Thai Police (RTP) for 26 years, he changed career and started working for the Crime Suppression Division (CSD), Bangkok. He was chosen by the RTP to work with the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment but was then permitted to go on leave abroad to undertake an MRes and PhD with us having previously completed a PhD in Criminology at Mahidol University.
The RTP’s Education Committee approved his doctoral thesis - Police Reform in Thailand – and on returning home in 2011, he met the Assistant to the Commissioner of the RTP, who was in charge of public security, and was selected to work as his PA.
However, he applied to the Royal Police Cadet Academy (RPCA), with a desire to educate young cadets and criminal justice officers about modern methods, rights, respect and fairness in policing and established postgraduate programmes at Rangsit University (RSU) where he took up employment and also became a media commentator about crime in Thailand.
National consultancies followed for regional and international organisations, including UNAIDS, UNODC, PSI Foundation and LEAHN while developing training and research studies funded by the Center for Law Enforcement and Public Health (CLEPH), the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), RTP, the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Thailand Research Fund (TRF), UNODC and WHO.
As well as his current role as the Assistant to the President and Chairman of the Faculty of Criminology and Justice Administration at RSU, he works with government agencies, civil societies and NGOs at local and international level and as consultant for numerous international organisations such as the Association for Prevention of Torture (APT) in Geneva and CLEPH in Melbourne.
Arnab Paul from India studied for an MBA in International Healthcare Management from 2009 – 2010 and is shortlisted for a Business and Innovation Award.
With more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare field and following his MBA with us, Arnab was chosen to join the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Roster of Experts in Digital Health in Geneva where he offered the WHO Secretariat high-level global strategic advice and support on their vision and strategy for digital health.
A certified biochemist, he moved from biochemistry/lab medicine to health IT after working in the diagnostic industry for more than ten years and is also a member of the HIMSS Global Health Education Committee USA and the HIMSS USA Blockchain Task Force.
At home in India, he is currently the President of the Government Blockchain Association's Kolkata Chapter and provides advice for Farmatrust's greenfield projects as a Strategic Advisor in the UK. In 2018 he won the Young Entrepreneur Award and was also the recipient of the Fastest Growing Indian Company Excellence Award in the same year.
Also currently the CEO of Patient Planet, Arnab maintains that the education and opportunities he gained at Aberdeen provided not just practical skills, but also priceless cultural insights from working in a city with such a diverse culture where people from all over the world bring the best of what they have to offer.
Originally from Yemen Fatima G Sulaiman studied a Master of Science in Molecular Medicine at Aberdeen from 2019 – 2020 and is shortlisted for a Science and Sustainability Award.
She cites her experiences of studying at Aberdeen as allowing her to understand the current and future work of the molecular medicine field, enabling her to contribute to cutting edge research.
Following her studies, she joined a molecular laboratory in the United Arab Emirates as a molecular biologist and I worked on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic. She then moved to the United Arab Emirates University and worked as a Research Assistant, applying the knowledge and skills she gained at Aberdeen.
Now undertaking a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, she plans to become a postdoctoral fellow with the ultimate goal of becoming a university professor in the future and states that the University of Aberdeen is a home for science and research which allows students to think, investigate, and discover.
Akylbek Kussainov from Kazakhstan studied for an LLM In International Commercial Law at the University between 2008 and 2009 and is shortlisted for a Business and Innovation Award.
Following his time in Aberdeen, Akylbek has had an active role in the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) which is a financial centre operating in the Central Eurasia region that offers modern, innovative and convenient legal and financial opportunities and solutions for investors and businesses. Thanks to his active role and input in the organisation, he was appointed recently as a member of the AIFC Legal Services Board established for the purpose of regulation and registration of legal advisers.
The Board, as a designated body for the regulation and registration, deals with, among other things, ensuring the high professional standards, ethics and due care when providing legal services by advisers based on the best practices and principles from the UK.
He is also Deputy Chairman of the Council on Barriers for the Kazakhstan Competition Authority and Co-Head of the Working Group on reducing barriers and improving investment climate.
During his time at Aberdeen, Akylbek was President of the Aberdeen University LLM Society and founded the Aberdeen University Kazakhstan Society in order to promote the Kazakhstan culture, lifestyle and to help new students from Kazakhstan and Central Asia in adapting to the way of life in Aberdeen. He was also a member of the organisation committee for the visit of the Mayor of Atyrau City, Kazakhstan, and delegates from other world energy city partnerships to Aberdeen in December 2008.
On returning home to Kazakhstan, he was one of the initiators in his law firm to provide financial aid to victims of a blast at an arms depot in a military warehouse in Arys, in South Kazakhstan in 2019. The firm also provided personal and legal support to the victims.
Currently a partner in the Zan Hub law firm, Akylbek was influenced by his studies in Aberdeen to do his best to implement the high standards of European, and in particular UK, law firms within Zan Hub.
Hani A Alhadrami from Saudi Arabia studied for both an MSc in Environmental Microbiology and a PhD in Microbiology & Biotechnology at Aberdeen between Sep 2006 - Sep 2011. He is shortlisted for a Science and Sustainability Award.
With an impressive career in his field of expertise, Hani is currently Professor and Consultant of Molecular Diagnostics and Medical Biotechnology at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia.
Following his studies in Aberdeen, Hani has dedicated his life to academic and community services, contributed to over 60 publications in Q1/Q2 high-impact peer-reviewed journals and several invited review articles, established several academic degrees that serve the community, founded the Saudi Society of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and supported the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic which yielded three USA-patented inventions.
He joined King Abdulaziz University as an Assistant Professor after being awarded his PhD in 2011 and has since been promoted to a full professorship and Consultant of Molecular Diagnostics and Medical Biotechnology. He is also working as a PI at the Special Infectious Agent Unit Biosafety Level 3, the Centre of Genomic Medicine, and the Molecular Diagnostic Lab at King Abdulaziz University hospital.
During the Covid-19 pandemic he invented and developed a novel, low-cost, sensitive, and rapid diagnostic platform for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 as an alternative to PCR which was patented in the USA. He was also able to discover several drugs with superior anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity and granted a further two patents in the USA.
In 2022 he was listed by Stanford University and Elsevier as one of the top 2% cited scientists worldwide.
As an invited visiting professor at Harvard Medical School in 2014 he maintains that the solid British foundation which he gained during his studies at Aberdeen facilitated his success at Harvard Medical School. As it was an obligation for him, as a PhD student, to submit with his thesis a portfolio of self-development courses he states that he graduated with knowledge and skills in writing papers, browsing scientific databases, talking to the public as well as the scientific community, having a high level of presentation skills, and much more. There is therefore no doubt in his mind that a UK graduate will be armed and equipped with significant skills along with academic experience and life experience which will equip them with everything that is needed to be a successful scientist.
During his academic career, he has supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate students and has inspired them to continue their postgraduate studies in the UK. While studying for his own PhD in Aberdeen, he helped his supervisor establish a number of academic programmes which gave him the experience necessary to initiate the first Medical Sterilization diploma in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2013 after been asked to do so by the Ministry of Health.
The University of Aberdeen is very proud to have five alumni nominated for these prestigious awards and send best wishes to everyone for when the winners are announced in March.