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Union Operational Research fellows awarded PhDs

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Three students successfully defended their theses to obtain Doctor of Philosophy degrees in their respective fields.

Ajay Kumar from India (Director of The Union’s Centre for Operational Research), Serge Ade from Benin (Union Senior Operational Research fellow) and Kuda Takarinda from Zimbabwe (Union Senior Operational Research fellow) have successfully defended their theses to obtain Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhD)s in their respective fields.

All three are alumni of The Union’s Structured Operational Research Training IniTiative (SORT IT) course, and were identified as being of outstanding calibre and had previously been awarded an operational research fellowship with The Union. Between them, the three have published 276 papers, have another 43 papers currently accepted or under review, have 52 projects in various stages of development and implementation, have made 94 presentations at international or national conferences, have been a facilitator on 115 SORT IT course modules and have reviewed 39 scientific papers for international journals. The PhD titles recognise the outstanding operational research that the three have undertaken in their own countries of work, but also the indirect impact achieved elsewhere.

The three fellows were required to defend their PhD theses last week at the University of Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Each of the students were required to deliver a 10-minute lecture, providing an overview of their research. This was then followed by an hour of intense questioning from a panel of six, mostly composed of university professors. The title of PhD was awarded to the three candidates based on the successful defence of their presentation, and the outstanding operational research they had conducted in their respective countries.

The Union wishes to take the opportunity to congratulate the scientists for the delivery of three highly professional lectures, excellent defences and the high quality and impactful research they have carried out in their respective countries.

Executive Director, José Luis Castro, said: “Congratulations to Ajay, Serge, and Kuda in their successful defence of their theses and obtaining their PhDs.  This is a very proud moment for the Union and our teams.  We must continue to support and nurture exceptional talent if we are to build the next generation of scientists needed to fight for global lung health, and to end the terrible tuberculosis epidemic.”