Dr Ahmed I. Osman is a Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, UK and founder of “Elm Tube”, a science communication (SciComm) project on Facebook and YouTube with about 2 million followers.
Dr Osman received his BSc in Chemistry from the Faculty of Science in South Valley University, Egypt in 2006 where he was also appointed as a demonstrator. He finished his MSc on biofuel production in the same university in 2013. In 2018, he earned his PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast, UK, where he is currently a Research Fellow.
Dr Osman’s research lies in the field of energy storage, environmental catalysis, biomass utilization and solar energy. He has published more than 46 papers in top peer-reviewed journals (H-Index of 18), including five prestigious review articles, and more than 14 conference proceedings (including three keynotes). His publications in Scientific Reports Journal are in the top 100 papers in Chemistry in Nature publication group journals. In March 2019, he was selected to present his work at the House of Commons in London. Dr Osman’s research output recently attracted industry attention, gaining £600,000 grant income for the Queen’s University Belfast and £400,000 external fund with Sultan Qaboos University, Oman.
Not only is Dr Osman a prolific researcher, but he also serves as a reviewer in several journals. He is an editorial board member in Scientific Reports (Nature publishing group) and associate editor in Frontiers Sustainability. Moreover, he is the guest editor for 3 special issues in Catalysts (MDPI), Processes (MDPI) and Environmental Chemical Engineering (Elsevier) journals.
“Elm Tube” was born out of a public outreach talk Dr Osman gave with the BCC on a research paper he co-authored in 2017. This interview sparked a series of similar interviews. After one such live talk had 60K viewers, compared to the average 10-20K, Dr Osman received a comment from the producers that he had the skill of SciComm, and so, “Elm Tube” came to be. “Elm” is Arabic for “Science”. Through the channel, Dr Osman attempts to discuss how science can improve the public’s everyday life in areas like energy, water, and food consumption. To produce an episode, Dr Osman reviews published research on the topic, critiques it, formats it in a simple 10-min video, and delivers it in the Arabic Egyptian dialect.
Now “Elm Tube” has 126K subscriptions and over 3.5 million views on YouTube. On Facebook, the channel’s page has close to 2 million followers along with 3 million watched minutes. Last year, it was ranked first in the most engaging scientific channels on Facebook in the Middle East.
When asked by SASTA to advise Arab youth interested in science, Dr Osman said, “My recommendation is to be aware of the most recent advances in applied science because science is dynamic and changing, and we must adapt to it.”