Persist and overcome obstacles

I think a placement experience is valuable for everyone regardless of where they go after completing their PhD.

Back in 2019 PhD candidate Junwei Lyu, from the School of Civil Engineering, decided to pursue an industry placement. He wanted to explore applying his research skills in a professional setting.

“I was hoping I could further develop my skills of teamwork, time-management and effectively communicating ideas both inside and outside of my discipline,” he said.

With the help of his advisor, he sought out a placement at Cermak Peterka Petersen (CPP) Wind Engineering & Air Quality Consultants, which is one of the largest wind engineering consultants in the country. Junwei’s advisor recommended the company and helped him make first contact.

Junwei planned ahead to ensure he could continue important simulations related to his PhD research remotely while undergoing his placement with CPP. However, the lockdowns resulting from the pandemic delayed his placement for a year. With the delay Junwei was able to finish the simulations before commencing his placement in 2021.

“When the placement actually began this year, I did not have too much stress from my PhD research, which helped me focus on my placement," he said.

While at CPP, Junwei was exposed to a variety of commercial wind tunnel testing and computational fluid dynamics projects.

“I contributed to these projects through doing a literature review, analysing data, setting-up simulations and experiments, participating in the team discussion and being involved in communication with clients,” he said. As a result, he was able to develop both his technical and transferable skills.

Junwei came away from his placement experience with a very positive outcome.

“I think a placement experience is valuable for everyone regardless of where they go after completing their PhD,” he said.

 “My placement experience at CPP delivered beyond my expectations. It showed me how the technical skills I have developed during my PhD can be applied in a commercial context.”

Through the connections he made during his placement Junwei has now received a job offer from CPP, which he will start after he completes his PhD.

If you are a UQ HDR candidate and would like to explore your placement opportunities, attend an information session to learn more about the program.