24 October 2017

'Only' a Master's student, but already on stage

Ouafa Dahri is the youngest speaker ever at the University of The Netherlands

Ouafa Dahri

Ouafa Dahri had never taught a class before. More than that: she is still a Master's student at Utrecht University. Still, she recently stood in front of the running cameras of the University of The Netherlands in a fully-packed Club Air. The result was published online yesterday. An interview with the youngest speaker of the programme ever.

How do you get to the stage of the University of The Netherlands as a student?

“Apart from professors on stage The University of The Netherlands  also wants to bring in young scientists to teach classes. They were going to do a lecture on the 3D printing of human tissue and there aren't many people working on that in the Netherlands. I'm enrolled in the Master's programme Biofabricating and I'm fully up to date on the latest developments. That's how they came to me.”

Ouafa Dahri 's lecture for "University of the Netherlands" (in Dutch)

Did you have any stage fright?

“No, it wasn't too bad, I mostly had fun. And it's not live – so if I messed up, I probably could have started over. I primarily hoped that everyone in the audience would understand it. Many people don't have a clue what the possibilities of bioprinting are and it's great to tell them. I think I succeeded at that quite well.”

A 3D ear was printed during your talk, but it didn't go quite right?

“Indeed! It worked fine when I tested it, of course. But I think the stage lighting created an environment that was too hot for the printer. It made a quite ugly ear. But I had another ear ready that did look all right, so it wasn't a disaster.”

Would you like to teach more classes now? Do you have scientific ambitions?

“First, I'm going to take an internship of a year at the Universität Würzburg, where they are also working on bioprinting. Besides that, I'm going to Boston with the Utrecht iGEM-team in November. But indeed: after graduating, I hope to obtain my PhD and have a career in science.”