Haider Butt, electrical engineering PhD student

Researching nanophotonics and metamaterials, Haider Butt is working towards a successful career in academia. In 2010 he was awarded an IET Postgraduate Scholarship for his work.

Haider Butt, electrical engineering PhD student Haider Butt is currently undertaking an electrical engineering PhD at the University of Cambridge, researching nanophotonics and metamaterials. An international student, he came to Cambridge to continue his studies with an MPhil in electrical engineering after completing a BEng in telecommunication engineering at the National University of Computing and Emerging Sciences in Islamabad.

After completing his PhD he aims to work within academia, preferably as a research assistant or a lecturer. He also wants to continue with his research into nanoscale optical devices and interesting applications such as metamaterials and photonic crystals.

Second time lucky scholarship

Butt was awarded an IET Postgraduate Scholarship [new window] in 2010 to support his PhD work, however it wasn't the first time he's applied. He originally joined the IET in 2008 in order to find out more about scholarships, and applied that year but did not receive an award. However he reapplied in 2010 and was awarded a monetary prize on his second attempt.

There are two IET Postgraduate Scholarships available every year, worth up to £2,500 each, and he recommends that PhD students apply as it can make a real difference. Not only did the award money help him, he discovered that applying for the scholarship made him work even harder in the attempt to win it.

"During the two years I spent working towards an IET award, I believe I worked much harder on my research and published several papers, improving the quality of my PhD. The prestigious IET Postgraduate Scholarship award is great recognition for my hard work and a source of responsibility towards my future."

Benefits of IET membership

Although Butt originally became an IET member to find out more about scholarships, he's discovered many other benefits to being part of a professional organisation.

"I really enjoy the IET events that are held in Cambridge and I now organise most of them myself as I have been acting as the secretary and treasurer of the IET Cambridge Young Professionals Committee for the last two years," he explains. "I really think that IET events, seminars and magazines help us to meet new professionals and keep abreast with state of the art research. The awards offered by the IET are of course of great benefit to students too.

"Joining the IET as a student member and then being part the Young Professionals network has had a great impact on my stay at Cambridge. I have attended and been involved in many events and seminars where I learnt a lot whilst getting to meet many new people."