'As an engineer, the most exciting job is to solve real-world problems...'
Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering
Studying towards a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Contract Researcher, Tait Communications
Yiwei’s current PhD research at Tait Communications is something he hopes will pave the way for future electrical engineering technologies. His project is a joint program between the Wireless Research Centre, NZi3 and the Electrical Engineering Department at UC, and he has received the Callaghan Research and Development Student Fellowship scholarship in recognition for his work.
‘I am currently doing a multidisciplinary research project, exploring opportunities to apply advanced communication technologies on future electrical grids to achieve better resiliency and reliability. The collaborations between these two fields are just emerging and it will fill gaps between these two important industries in New Zealand in the future. This research offers me an opportunity to build a unique type of knowledge.’
Coming all the way from his home country China to study at UC was a decision that Yiwei found to be a huge benefit to his passion for Engineering.
‘The initial cause was the high quality education of Engineering at UC I heard from many people. Before I made my decision, I came here for a short visit. I was attracted by the campus here: large sports fields, fantastic facilities and friendly people. Everything here reminds me of the university life I have always been expecting. I finally decided to study here.’
After completing his undergraduate degree, Yiwei set his sights toward practical applications, and worked with wheelchair company Dynamic Controls developing a wireless control system for power wheelchairs as his master’s project. He also worked in Tait Communications creating a new algorithm for wireless communications.
‘As an engineer, the most exciting job is to solve real-world problems, to improve people’s life quality and shape the future world,’ he says. ‘Becoming a solution engineer is my career goal and I still have lots to learn to achieve this goal.’
Yiwei particularly enjoys how his PhD can contribute to real world needs directly through the industry.
‘I have been working in wireless communication fields since I graduated from UC. This PhD project offers a great opportunity to apply my knowledge to some real world applications. With support from the industry, it is quite possible to build prototypes and even products in the future to demonstrate the research outcomes. This sounds very inspiring and exciting to me.
‘In this project, participants from both academics and the industry work together and share their expertise and experience. This opens my mind to think from multiple perspectives, and leads me to improve my skills in problem-solving, decision-making and communication.’
Yiwei emphasises that practical work is the more important aspect to Engineering and a skill not to be taken lightly, for those thinking of studying Engineering that may be put off by the theory work.
‘For engineering, the ultimate goal is to apply practical knowledge in the different fields. This capability of practical application will be a significant advantage for engineering students in their future professional careers.’