Professor Jamal Khatib
PhD Structural and Construction Materials, 1991
From Aberdeen to... Top 2% of Researchers
Professor Jamal Khatib, an alumni of the University, was classified as top 2% researchers in the world in the Building and Construction field in October 2021. This was according to Stanford University classification.
Jamal was born in a village in Lebanon and did his Bachelor of Civil Engineering at BAU in Beirut. He then came to the UK and did an MSc in Structural Engineering at Liverpool University before moving to the University of Aberdeen to do a PhD in Structural and Construction Materials. He completed his PhD in 1991. After completion, Jamal did a post-doc for 3 years at the University.
While in Aberdeen, Jamal enjoyed his time where he has many friends and still has. He did many types (e.g. Yoga, aerobic, swimming, badminton) of sport including hillwalking in the lovely Deeside (up to Lochnagar) and skiing once in Lecht. He joined the 10km a few times (Aberdeen milk run, Roeven 10Km and Buckie 10K) along Aberdeen beach (near the amusement centre). Liz McColgan’s husband used to join these races. Also watching the Salmon coming (jumping..impressive!!) back to the river (Dee, Don??) again the direction of the current to lay their eggs.
After finishing the contract at Aberdeen, Jamal moved to the University of South Wales (then Glamorgan) where he took another research contract for 4 years and published some of his best (finest) research papers and collaborated with industry. He and his family had the chance to explore South and Mid-Wales (e.g. Brecon Beacon) He then took an Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) post at Sheffield Hallam University. In 2007 he moved to the University of Wolverhampton as a Reader (Associate Professor) in Civil Engineering and became a full Professor a few years later. He took a very early retirement from the UK and now he is an Emeritus Professor of Wolverhampton. He is still actively involved in research activities which he considers as a hobby. Currently he lives between Derbyshire and Lebanon where he enjoys walking in or near the Peak district area.
It was a dream come true for Jamal when he knew he was classified top 2% researcher in the world in the field of building and construction. This is a life time achievement which may or may not happen again. Stanford University classified 186,000 researchers as top 2% researchers in more than 170 research sub-fields. This indicates that the pool of researchers was over 9,000,000. This was not even imaginable for Jamal when he started his career.
"I never thought I would reach this stage." said Professor Khatib. "In my PhD I referred to many senior researchers and I reached the level of many of them."