Dr. Mona Bakr: The Voice of Nanotechnology in Egypt

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Dr. Mona Bakr was the Director of Egypt Nanotechnology Center (EGNC) affiliated to Cairo University, Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Laser Enhanced Sciences (NILES) at the same University; and a member of the Industry Technology Council at the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT). Mona Bakr was a young female Egyptian pioneer in nanotechnology and contributed to establishing this vital scientific field in Egypt. She recently passed away at a very young age, leaving a priceless legacy behind.

Mona Bakr was born on 17 November 1968, in Assiut Governorate. She studied at the Governorate's public schools, graduating from high school in 1987. She then joined the Faculty of Science in Assiut University, to become one of the most prominent chemists. She achieved her BSc in Chemistry in 1991 with an excellent grade, and at the top of her class of 120 students. She obtained an MA in Physical Chemistry in 1994, then a PhD in the same field from Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, USA) in 2002, where she was supervised by eminent scientist, Prof. Mostafa Elsayed. 

Mona Bakr held several academic positions. She was appointed Instructor at the Faculty of Science, Assiut University, in 1991, and was promoted to Assistant Lecturer in 1994, then Lecturer in 2002. She also was a Lecturer in the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (2002–2004). In 2004, she was appointed Lecturer in Cairo University, later becoming Assistant Professor in 2009.

Her research was dedicated to the structure and features of metal, magnetic and semi-conductive nanocrystals of different shapes and sizes. She was a lead researcher in using nano-silver particles in industry for the purpose of sterilizing products against viruses and bacteria. She also conducted researches that link scientific research to development in the fields of industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, poultry production, reneweable energy, petroleum refinery, and construction.

Despite her multiple contributions, Mona Bakr rarely appeared in the media. She published more than 1000 scientific papers in national, regional, and international periodicals, seminars, and conferences. Moreover, she was cited more than 5708 times, and published 98 papers in Impact Factor periodicals. Misr El Kheir Foundation honored her among the most prominent five Egyptian scientists who were cited in intentional research papers; she was the only female amongst the honorees.

Mona Bakr supervised more than 150 MA and PhD dissertations; she also trained several academic staff members and students in Assiut University scientific faculties. She established and directed the first private company for scientific research in nanotechnology. She has more than twelve patents, some of which have already been registered and some are still being registered. According to the International Scientific Indexing (ISI), Dr. Bakr was classified the twentieth in the field of nanotechnology. Last but not least, she obtained the State Award of Excellence in Science and Advanced Technology in 2009.

Dr. Mona Bakr passed away quietly on 4 March 2017, leaving behind a rich scientific legacy that makes her memory immortal in the world of science.

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