ITC’s 300th PhD Student Graduates


On 23 March 2017, Ms Mitra Shariati Najafabadi defended her PhD thesis “Migration timing and stopover selection for Barnacle Geese Branta Leucopsis”.

Dr Mitra Shariati studied Natural Resource Engineering-Environment at the Isfahan University of Technology and received a BSc in September 2006. She obtained her MSc in the same field from the University of Tehran in February 2009. Her MSc research focused on avifaunal distribution pattern and abundance in Hyrcanian mountain forests in northern Iran. After graduation, she started to collaborate with the University of Tehran on a number of environmental projects for two years. In 2011, she was awarded the European Commission, Erasmus Mundus scholarship to pursue her doctoral research at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, which resulted in her doctoral thesis “Migration timing and stopover selection for barnacle geese Branta leucopsis”.

First PhD graduate

On 6 February 1990, Dr Joseph Akinyede from Nigeria became the first PhD graduate at ITC. Dr Akinyede was director of NASRDA (National Space Research and Development Agency) in Nigeria. NASRDA was established by the Nigerian government to implement the National Space Policy and Programme. NASRDA carries out research and development in space science and technology for the sustainable socio-economic development of Nigeria. This includes the building and launching satellites and space application support for sustainable development programmes. Dr Akinyede left NASRDA in 2003 to make the transfer from space to education by becoming director of the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English Language.

100th PhD graduate

On 4 June 2003, José Laurindo Campos dos Santos from Brazil became the 100th research student of ITC to be awarded a PhD. His thesis entitled A biodiversity information system in an open data - metadatabase architecture comprises his investigation into the development and implementation of a new database architecture that can meet the specific demands of biosciences (a biodiversity information system in an open data/metadatabase architecture). After his graduation Dr Campos dos Santos worked at INPA (National Institute for Amazon Research) in Brazil where he became involved in the Institutes activities in building up an SDI for scientific data exchange within the Amazon basin.

200th PhD Graduate

On 16 February 2012, Yijian Zeng defended his PhD thesis Coupled Dynamics in Soil: understanding the transport mechanisms of liquid water, water vapor, air pressure and heat by field experiments and numerical simulation. He received his Doctors degree Cum Laude. Dr Yijian Zeng became a PhD student at the ITC Faculty of the University of Twente, under a joint-cooperation project supported by ITC, CUGB (China University of Geosciences (Beijing)) and CAREERI (Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, China Academy of Sciences). Yijian Zeng now works as an Assistant Professor at  ITC’s department of Water Resources (ITC-WRS).

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