During my master's I took part in a data science competition with one of my course-mates & we received a prize to work in Rolls-Royce as interns!
Watch: our interview with Gloria
Why did you decide to study engineering?
This is my fifth year studying at the University of Sheffield!
There are two reasons why I decided to study engineering: First of all, I have always been interested in mathematics and physics ever since a very young age so it is natural for me to choose a major that combines both of my favourite subjects.
Secondly, I am a third generation engineer in my family: my grandfather used to be a professor in the engineering department of a Chinese university; both of my parents have obtained degrees in engineering, but only my father has been working as an engineer as my mother made a career change and is now working in the financial industry.
Why did you want to study a Bachelors, Masters and now PhD at the University of Sheffield?
The reason why I decided to come to the University of Sheffield is that a former student told me that staff from the University of Sheffield really cared about their students. I immediately understood what she meant the moment when I came to study in Sheffield. All the lecturers in the department, including my own supervisors, have a very heavy workload especially in research but they are very willing to spend time preparing for the teaching content and to spend time helping their students.
The reason why I went through the transition from a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering, to a master degree in Computer Science and then to a PhD back in Mechanical Engineering is that I managed to figure out the area in engineering that I am the most interested in.
I had a taste on research during my master's studies and I have found the research element in my master degree a pretty fun process to work through, and I am willing to carry it on to a doctoral level.
What are your engineering highlights?
There are two major highlights during my studies in engineering. The first highlight happened during my undergraduate degree, when I was a member of the International Engineering Ambassadors (IEAs).
In one of the activities I attended as an IEA, I was working as a support for an international collaboration programme between the Tongji University in China and the University of Sheffield working as a translator. During this programme, I was given the opportunity to speak to people with various backgrounds, including technicians working in universities, lecturers, and also professors. My conversations with them have given me many inspirations in life. So I think it is a very valuable experience.
The second highlight happened during my master's studies where I took part in a data science competition hosted by Rolls-Royce, together with one of my course-mates. In the end, we became one of the top three "data storytellers" in the competition. We received as a prize the chance to work in Rolls-Royce as interns.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about studying engineering?
If people are considering taking a degree in engineering, I would tell them just go for it!
The stories of my family literally demonstrate that a degree in engineering can lead you to almost every type of career. You may choose to stay in academia or work in industry or you may even start a career in a different sector.
One of the main advantages to study engineering is that you get to improve your abilities of logical thinking and problem solving and these two skills are transferable to many other careers.
What are your future plans?
As for my future plan, I have not decided whether I would like to stay in academia or work in industry but one thing I can be sure of is the direction I would like to take in terms of technical/research interest, which is physics-enhanced statistical modelling.
I think I would look for all the opportunities that is available to me in the future, and I am willing to try whenever the opportunity arises.
What's the best thing about being an engineering student?
For me, the best thing about studying in engineering is the number of challenges I receive because challenges can help push me forward to exceed my potentials, and challenges also serve as my sources of motivation. So I am happy that I get to receive challenges during my study in engineering.
We interviewed Gloria back in 2019.
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