Yeong Shiong Chiew
'UC offers state-of-the-art PhD research and it has close ties with industry...'
PhD in Mechanical Engineering
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UC
Following his undergraduate and master's study at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Chiew knew that he would benefit from being exposed to different research cultures and decided to travel to Christchurch, New Zealand, for his postgraduate studies.
'UC offers state-of-the-art PhD research and it has close ties with industry,' he says. 'The academics here are very knowledgeable and are the leading experts in their field. They are also very humble and helpful. I have learned a lot from them.'
Chiew specialises in biomedical engineering, focusing on modelling lung physiology and developing mechanical ventilation therapy for patients with respiratory failure. His work as a postdoctoral fellow is supported by the New Zealand Health Research Council.
He enjoys the multidisciplinary nature of his work.
'I'm able to work with people from different fields and look at a problem from different angles. I can apply my research to help improve patients' treatment and see its impact on their care.'
In the future, Chiew is eager to make the most of his international academic experience and help develop research in his field in his home country.
'I enjoy teaching and research very much, and I hope to contribute to the areas of education and health services. My dream is to take the knowledge I have gained at UC back to Malaysia and perhaps bridge a research collaboration between UC and the universities there.'
Chiew is grateful for the support he has received during his time at UC.
'I initially came here with limited financial resources, but with the support of the department, I won a UC Doctoral Scholarship which meant I was able to focus on my research without financial worries… In general, the academics, technicians, and research colleagues have been a lot of help and the University has given me this great opportunity to learn and grow.'
A highly motivated person, Chiew believes in hard work, but also appreciates his down time.
'UC promotes a healthy, balanced lifestyle. It is located in a very nice environment, and is a great place to study and research. It offers a range of clubs where you can learn, socialise and get involved in a variety of activities. I've met some good friends and had good times. In the Centre of Bioengineering, we have potluck once in a while, which is always something to look forward to!'
Chiew is also an avid computer gamer: 'It helps me to relax and practice for real-time strategy planning,' he says.
Now completely settled in Christchurch, Chiew looks back with amusement at when he first got here. 'The biggest difficulty was with the local English accents,' he says. 'For example, a local would say "fush and chups". It was a bit hard to pick up at the start, but I'm used to it now.'