Department of Statistics

Saddam Abbasi, Pakistan: Statistics PhD student


"I like the cultural diversity here."


Saddam Abbasi’s research aims to improve process monitoring techniques by focusing on the most important statistical process control tool – control charts. Control-chart procedures detect unusual variations in process parameters. Although they first emerged in manufacturing, control charts have since been applied in fields as diverse as nuclear engineering, health care and education.

Why did you choose to do your PhD study at the University of Auckland?
There are several reasons: I got a New Zealand International Doctoral Research Scholarship funded by Education New Zealand, and I got a friendly supervisor in my area of interest. The domestic fee structure for international PhD students was also important, as was New Zealand’s beautiful and peaceful environment.

Has life in New Zealand been as you imagined?
It has been more peaceful and clean then I imagined, and what I enjoy most is the friendly behaviour of people. I came on my own and didn’t know anyone here, but I have made lots of friends from many countries, particularly New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. I like the cultural diversity here. It feels good to meet people from all over the world.

What are your main interests outside your study?
Playing cricket and soccer and going with friends to explore beautiful parts of New Zealand.

What questions do you think potential postgraduate students from overseas need to ask when making their decision about where to study?
At postgraduate level you are mostly involved in research. The students must ask the university about the availability of people in their area of interest. They also need to ask if there are any clubs or associations of students from their country at the university so that they can get advice and help before arriving here. And it’s useful to ask about potential jobs in their field.

Have you been employed as a tutor or marker in the Department?
Yeah, I am working as a graduate teaching assistant. I enjoy it a lot.

Saddam Abbasi is from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He has a Master of Statistics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

UPDATE: Saddam completed his PhD in March 2013. He then spent three years as an assistant professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In August 2016 he joined Qatar University, Doha, Qatar as an assistant professor.