Dr Amani Salim
Scientist – Researcher – Teacher
Dr Wan Wardatul Amani Wan Salim, or Dr Amani as she is popularly known, is an Assistant Professor at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Her research interests are focused on multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches in the development of advanced sensor technologies and the applications of these technologies in answering important questions in agriculture, biology, environmental science, medicine and space biology.
In 2014, she was Principal Investigator to NASA SporeSat – an autonomous, free-flying three-unit (3U) spacecraft used to conduct scientific experiments to gain a deeper knowledge of the mechanisms of plant cell gravity sensing, developed through a partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Dr Amani obtained a PhD: Biomedical Engineering (Emphasis: biosensors and bioMEMS) at Purdue University, USA, in 2009.
In 2012, Dr Amani received the Thora Halstead ‘Young Investigator’ award for her work on the Cell-Electrophysiology Lab-on-a-chip, an interdisciplinary project joining biology and fluid physics at the first national conference for the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR), where scientists, engineers, and students shared research, findings and questions about how space changes things.
Dr Amani also focuses on the area of Engineering Education. Her work at IIUM includes outreach for engineers and scientists to initiate new research collaboration and initiatives that result in the development of new sensor technologies, development of new bio-engineering courses (Biosensors and bioMEMS), and development of new model-eliciting activities (MEAs) which are client-driven engineering problems built from research data to be utilized in engineering classrooms.
Dr Amani is a volunteer for ‘Women of NASA’ at the National Air and Space Museum, USA. She was also a GERI (Gifted Education Resource Institute) Instructor with the Purdue University Department of Education in 2011, where she taught first and second graders “Kitchen Chemistry”, and some of their fun experiments included making volcanoes from ketchup and dough, pH strips from vegetables, and bubbling elephant toothpaste!