David Zhang

'The summer project is a major opportunity for an undergraduate student...'

  • David zhang

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Chemical and Process Engineering

Project Engineer, Air Liquide, Singapore

With a focus on his future career as a process engineer, David chose to come to UC because of its ‘good reputation as one of the best engineering schools in New Zealand’.

Originally from Linyi City, Shandong Province, China, David has also studied engineering at Singapore Polytechnic.

‘New Zealand was always one the places I had wanted to visit since I was young, and I am grateful for having had the chance to study there.’

David says Chemical and Process Engineering is a fascinating area to study.

‘It is not simply a chemistry degree, it is about how to make lab-scale products – chemicals, medicines, pharmaceutical products, food and so on – into huge industrial manufacture. You learn not only how to make that happen, but how to make the process effective, profitable and safe.

‘It’s a four-year programme of study and you learn the industrial knowledge from head to toe – the initial chemical reaction or bioprocess phenomenon, the process design, how to control the operation and so on.’

He adds: ‘There is a quite range of career options after you graduate.’

David won a UC Summer Research scholarship to spend his summer break working on a catalyst synthesis project at the University. It was an opportunity for him to develop his skills in independent research from literature and lab work, and to hone his data analysis skills. He rounded it off with a presentation to the project team.

‘The summer project is a major opportunity for an undergraduate student to be involved in postgraduate studies, and I really appreciate those ten valuable weeks,’ he says. ‘It helped me decide whether I want to continue my studies, and which area I can move into.

In the end, David landed a job as a project engineer back in Singapore, working at Air Liquide, a French gas company. His responsibilities include conducting feasibility studies, procurement, budget control, and technical support.

‘The job itself is quite challenging, dealing with lots of people and working under pressure to tight schedules. But I find it is really enjoyable since I can see myself developing on a daily basis. There are quite a lot of opportunities and responsibilities, but to me, it is a learning experience.’

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