- Course: MRes Climate and Atmospheric Science
- Year of graduation: 2018
- Nationality: Chinese
- Job title: PhD student
- Company: University of Canterbury
What have you been doing since finishing your studies?
After I finished my MRes at Leeds, I took a couple months off and had a couple interviews for my PhD. Now I’m studying at University of Canterbury as a PhD student in the atmospheric physics group. I always want to pursue an academic or research career in the field of atmospheric science, so a PhD would be very important for me to build research skills and solid theory basis.
Through my PhD I’m using a large-eddy simulation atmospheric model to understand the underlying physics regarding fog and air pollution at microscale (several meters in space and several seconds in time). Every year fog has caused so much economic loss as some winter storms or tornados. If we improve the understanding of physics behind fog, we can potentially save not only the money but also people’s lives.
What experiences at Leeds do you think have particularly helped with your career?
This was the first time I had chance to deeply communicate with academic staff like my supervisors, and the first time to feel like I’m part of a research group rather than just a student.
Many other master courses are still lecture-based, and those master courses are more like advanced one-year undergraduate courses rather than being part of the research community. My supervisors are very supportive, and I learnt a lot of research skills from them. Such a good experience motivated me to continue my research career as a PhD student. My supervisors and I also published a peer-reviewed journal article (based on my dissertation) together.
Why did you choose to study your particular course and why did you choose the University of Leeds?
I’ve always wanted to be an atmospheric scientist and I’ve been interested in atmosphere science since an early age. There were several choices regarding a one-year master’s degree related to atmosphere science in the UK. After having a bachelor’s degree at University of Reading, I intended to have a more practical, more research-based master’s degree. The University of Leeds also has a few groups of atmospheric scientists across several disciplines. In addition, there are also abundant choices of modules I can take, which I knew they can potentially be useful for my research career.
What was the best aspect of your course?
The best aspect is that I learnt a lot of different skills in just one year. Because I had several modules along with my MRes research project to finish in one year, I had to improve my skills of time managing, multitasking, coding communication etc. All the skills turned out to be very useful in my PhD journey.
What activities outside of your studies were you involved in?
I travelled to several cities in the UK and other countries in Europe with some friends I met in a small cooking club. It was really great to experience different western cultures using those convenient public transport systems.
What would you say to students thinking about studying your course?
This one-year MRes course is fun and really useful, but it would be very intense and sometimes even hectic. In this programme, you will learn how to code properly, how to do research properly, how to create a personal website and so many other useful skills and knowledges related to atmospheric science. I would highly recommend this MRes course to students who are interested in atmospheric science and want to extend and improve their skills for their future career.