Dr Miao Li: Research and Teaching in China

From mid-June- early July, on behalf of my research team, Dr Gea Rahman and Dr Zhenquan Li from the School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering, FBJBS, I visited my research collaborators, Profs. Zhiliang Wang and Linfang Shen, at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Mechanics, Kunming University of Science and Technology. Dr Rahman and I are currently working with Prof. Wang’s research team on coupling machine learning with engineering experiment data to formulate sustainable soil stabilisation techniques while reducing carbon emissions. Dr Zhenquan Li and I have been collaborating with Prof. Wang’s team on using advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling in solving particle settlement in fluids.

I also visited Profs. Huie Chen, Shiwei Shen, Yan Xu, Shulin Dai, etc., at the College of Construction Engineering, Jilin University (my alma mater), China.

Over the period of three weeks, I delivered several research seminars and journal writing workshops to the academics and research (Masters and PhD) students. The topics covered sustainable building materials, advanced numerical modelling in civil engineering, reducing carbon emissions in civil construction, etc. I also examined students’ presentations on their current research projects. I was amused and amazed to see such a big poster of myself on the wall of the very engineering building where I studied 20 years ago. It was impressive to learn that now there are around 400 or 500 research students in civil engineering at Jilin University, ten times more than when I did my Master’s degree in 2003.

I have also exchanged practices and experiences in engineering education with professors from both universities and highlighted the CSU engineering model. The conversations also covered the current employment situation in the engineering industry and how it is affecting the student intake at both the Bachelor’s and postgraduate levels.

Thanks to the financial support from Kunming University of Science and Technology, Jilin University and the tri-faculty research fund at CSU. As well as strengthening personal connections, this visit has definitely brought the current research collaboration to the next level, and the best is yet to come!