Ali Khumaeni, an Indonesian student currently studying at Fukui University in Japan, received the highest honor at an international conference on Sept. 17 for his breakthrough in the field of laser plasma spectroscopy. He accepted the award for the best paper at the 6th International Conference on Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy held in Memphis, Tennessee. The conference is the biggest in the field of laser plasma spectroscopy, and is held every two years. It attracts hundreds of postgraduate students, LIBS experts, professors and corporate representatives from the fields of optics, lasers and imaging. Ali, 27, told the Jakarta Globe in a telephone interview that it had taken two years of research before he was able to finish the winning paper. “My professor in Fukui suggested that I do a powder analysis. "We progressed gradually and finally we found the technique on how to use a laser to analyze powder plasma, the first known technique in the world,” Ali said. He added that many industries had difficulties using laser plasma technology for powder analysis. “Once powder is exposed to a laser, the material will be ruined, hence the atom cannot be analyzed, but my research has found a way to use the laser properly without ruining the atomic material,” Ali said. “Now we can analyze, for example, the calcium content in powdered milk or the tiniest particle in face powder.” Born in Kendal, Central Java, Ali said that he never imagined he would have the opportunity to study in Japan. “I am a village boy, always have been. My village, Kendal, is a remote area in Central Java. I lived there until I graduated from senior high school because I had to help my parents work. We're not a rich family,” he said. He first left home to study at state-owned Diponegoro University in Semarang, Central Java's capital. “I studied physics and I was blessed to have been taught by amazing professors who inspired me to pursue a higher education here [in Japan],” he said. In 2007, he received a scholarship from the Japanese government to study at Fukui University. Ali said he would stay in Japan for another three to four years until he received his PhD in physics. “As soon as I finish my PhD program, I will come back home to Indonesia and see my parents again in the village before deciding what to do next,” he said. Source: Jakarta Globe Photo: Ali Khumaeni Thanks to @saifulmuhajir for this inspiring tip!
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