Professor Sayma obtained BSc in Mechanical Engineering with Distinction from Birzeit University in Palestine in 1987, MSc in Energy Technology from Salford University in 1990 and PhD from UMIST in 1994. His thesis topic was Finite Element model for dense gas dispersion in the atmosphere. He joined the Aeronautics department at Imperial College London in 1994 on EPSRC funded project as a research assistant where he worked on the development of an external aerodynamic compressible flow model introducing boundary layer grids and viscous effects in the Euler solver.
In 1996, he joined the Rolls Royce Vibration University Technology Centre (VUTC) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, where he stayed for about 9 years. He progressed to a Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow and then Principal Research Fellow. In 2001, he was awarded the title RolIs Royce reaserch fellow at Imperial College and in 2003 he was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow co-funded by Rolls-Royce Plc. During his spell at the VUTC, he was one of two main developers for the unsteady aerodynamics and aeroelatisity code AU3D which has been the main aeroelasticity system at Rolls Royce. He also contributed to several major aero-engine projects including analysis of compressors, fans, turbines, rotating cavities, intake and bypass ducts and downstream nozzles.In 2005 he became a Senior Lecturer in Computational Mechanics at Brunel University. A year later, he was given a Chair in Computational Fluid Dynamics at the University of Sussex where he worked at the Thermo-Fluid Mechanics Research Centre (TFMRC) at the Department of Engineering and Design. He continued to lead research in unsteady compressible flow in turbomacinery, where he focused on industrial gas turbines and micro-gas turbines. He held several senior administrative positions, the last of which was the Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the School of Engineering and Informatics. He also introduced a new MSc in Sustainable Energy Technology.