This week, our program director asked me out of the blue to help him in representing KTH Nano at a Masters fair. Our objective was simple, to get as many undergraduate students at KTH interested in nanotechnology as we possibly could. Slowly, silently, and deliberately, we continued to bide our time and hone our devious plan of seduction. “Those undergraduates won’t know what hit them!” we cackled to ourselves as we counted our one million bajillion dollars.


The day of reckoning finally arrived. Gingerly, carefully, lovingly, we put together our exhibition certain that our doors would be ripped right off the hinges come application time. We had everything all figured out:


Candy, Course Descriptions, and Cadmium Selenide Nanoparticles- A match made in heaven!

  • First! We’d bait our poor victims with delicious candy!
  • Then! We’d draw their attention to the glowy nanoparticles next to the candy!
  • Finally! We’d preach to them the awesomeness of nanotechnology, confident that our subliminal conditioning of shiny stuff and sweet satiation would have them wanting more.

And succeed we would have- if it weren’t for one minor overlooked aspect. EVERYONE- literally every other masters group, was using candy to bait students to their exhibits as well!

How we felt then.

Things were looking bleak. Perfectly viable candidates were drifting right past us as if we were but wraiths gazing at them through a looking glass. But falter we would not.

“A day may come when the power of candy fails, when we forsake our belief in science and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of empty rosters and unenthusiastic applicants, when the age of nanotechnology comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight!”

And fight we did…

You know that feeling of being “in the zone?” Where time slows down and you could do no wrong? That is where we found ourselves then, after we had riled our spirits once more. We had mastered ourselves, and in doing so, mastered the exhibition. Synergy was restored. Program director, teaching assistant, masters student and lecturers came together as one, singing the praises of our program in a highest, purest note of adulation and the undergraduates did heed our call. In the end, we managed to hand out the majority of our pamphlets to students who genuinely cared. We went home victorious that day- our victory made all the more sweet by the fact that it had come after strife and struggle.

Below, I pay tribute to the brethren, the comrades in arms that made this amazing day what it was:


From Left to Right: Nanotech Masters Teaching Assistant and connoisseur of awesome science fiction: Matthias Ekström Professor, globetrotter, and all around nice guy: Ilya Sytjugov Program director and commander in chief: Mattias Hammar

Not depicted here but of the same gravitas is Jan Linnros- professor, lecturer and man of science. Truly, it was an honor to work beside these fine men. I sincerely hope that this dream team will come together once again.



An American-Egyptian studying nanotechnology at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Mohamed finished his studies in Sweden in June 2015.
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