To me the department involved in technology development and innovation is the best part of being an engineer.
Professor Xiaoli Chu is a Lecturer in Electronic & Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield. She was made Professor in 2019.
Watch: our interview with Xiaoli
My research area is in wireless communications and we design wireless networks to connect to people everywhere, anywhere at anytime. We also research into wireless communications to connect to machines and devices without human involvement in a way that can improve the living quality for people and provide support for connecting a society.
My education background has always been in engineering. I did in my bachelor's degree in Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University in China and then later I pursued a PhD degree at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. When I got my PhD I started to look for a job globally and I got an offer from King's College London so I came here to this country for the first time as a Research Fellow.
In 2012 I moved to Sheffield because the Engineering Faculty of Engineering is bigger, stronger and the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering is one of the largest so I chose Sheffield so that I could have an even better environment to focus on my engineering research.
The best thing about being an engineer to me is the involvement in innovation and technology development especially for us and the research in our mobile networks. We got involved in the most pioneering technology, for example, a few years ago people were using 3G networks and after that time we started researching 4G technology. Now that operators are selling their 4G networks, we are doing research on 5G and even beyond this technology. Although I look forward to working on this new technology a few years in advance of everybody else, it’s the excitement involved in technology development and innovation to me that is the best part of being an engineer.