Advanced Water Management Centre

Graduating Student Spotlight - March 2020

Thursday, 19 March 2020
  • A group of students in graduation gowns

Hui Chen

Supervisors: A/Prof Jianhua Guo and Prof Zhiguo Yuan

Thesis Title: Development and understand of methane bioconversion to short-chain fatty acids in membrane biofilm reactor

Degree awarded: October 2019

What are you up to now?

Working as a postdoc in Shandong University located in Qingdao, a coastal city of China.

What skills did you develop completing a PhD, what did it teach you?

It helped develop my professional skills as a researcher, where I got training on how to do scientific research. More importantly the challenges, the frustrations, but also the joy of success I experienced during my PhD helped me to build up willpower, which will benefit my whole life.

What would you say to someone who was thinking of completing a PhD at AWMC?

AWMC is full of friendly and brilliant people, innovative ideas and powerful support for scientific research where you can achieve a happy and fruitful PhD.

 

 

 

Rita Lemos

Supervisors: A/Prof Stefano Freguia and Dr Pablo Ledezma

Thesis Title: Bioelectrochemical detection of cyanobacteria for harmful bloom management

Degree awarded: November 2019

What are you up to now?

Working as a research assistant at AWMC and communicating with industry contacts for a part-time graduate position. Although not entirely sure what I want to be doing long term, I figured the best way is to browse around and try a few things such as engineering consulting so I can take a definitive step by the end of the year.

What skills did you develop completing a PhD, what did it teach you?

Completing a PhD allowed me to take my analysis and problem-solving skills to a higher level as I worked at the forefront of a research field. Interpersonal and leadership skills were also essential as I was responsible for driving my PhD project to fruition, and therefore effective communication with other researchers and supervisors was paramount. Furthermore, I had to develop efficient self-management work habits as PhD work is self-managed.

Most importantly, the PhD journey taught me to look at failure as an opportunity to learn. You always get an answer from an unsuccessful experiment and build upon that knowledge to move forward.

What would you say to someone who was thinking of completing a PhD at AWMC?

If you’re considering doing research and pursuing a PhD at AWMC, or anywhere, I’d advise to really look into the field and project you’re considering to work on. I personally found the Water field to be quite rewarding to work on, since water is so essential for our communities.  When you’re dedicating years of your life to something, you’ll want to make sure it is meaningful and that you’re passionate about it. That passion will be tested. And ultimately, surround yourself with supportive people. The PhD journey can be lonely and it is important to ask for help/advice when challenges arise.