KITCHENER -- A mother-daughter duo is taking the science world by storm, graduating from the University of Waterloo as part of the same class.

Abir Khaled had shelved her dream of getting her doctorate after finding out she was pregnant during her master's, which she completed in 1999.

Now, in 2020, she joins the university's graduating class once more, earning a PhD in Analytical Chemistry the same year her daughter graduates with a degree in chemical engineering.

Khaled's research focuses on the development of automated analytical methods and high-throughput methods allowing scientists and agencies to work with pharmaceutical drug residues in meat samples and other food. She says she's developing efficient and environmentally-friendly methodologies.

Khaled says she's made many memories from her PhD, including meeting people from all over the world and making friendships that will last a lifetime.

Students following in her footsteps should "be proactive" and "take full responsibility for (their) research," while still working with senior group members, she says.

"Take care of your physical and mental health, keep an organized notebook/lab book, start writing as soon as possible and last, but not least, enjoy the journey," she said as advice for future students.

She'll continue working at the university as a postdoctoral researcher and is looking for new opportunities in the industry.