‘Flexibility, resources, and guidance from supervisors are the best things about UC…’
Studying towards a PhD in Human Interface Technology
When Bhuvan was working as an image processing expert at a start-up called Augmentron in India, she started looking closely at the research coming out of UC’s HIT Lab NZ.
‘HIT Lab NZ is renowned for its work in augmented and virtual reality, and I instantly wanted to be part of it,’ she says. ‘I emailed the HIT (Human Interface Technology) professors and learned about the exciting projects they were working on. So I started a master’s in HIT at UC, even though I did another master’s in India. Later on, my master’s research paved the way to my doctoral research, and I enrolled at UC as a PhD student.’
As a master’s student, Bhuvan made great use of many of UC’s free academic services.
‘The range of student services at UC helped me plan my studies and my research better. I took help from the Statistical Consulting Unit for conducting my user studies which was helpful in analysing data and publishing papers.’
Bhuvan also earned a part-time position at UC’s Equity & Disability Service as an alternate format processor.
‘Whatever I needed as a student, I was provided instantly. I never felt like an outsider, and I felt protected and safe,’ she says.
For Bhuvan’s current PhD studies, she finds ‘flexibility, resources, and guidance from supervisors the best things about UC’.
‘If I want to research or explore an area, I get instant guidance from supervisors and all the hardware and software resources I need (even if it is not directly associated with my thesis). The freedom and encouragement to collaborate and explore makes my research fun and exciting.
‘Ultimately, I want to be a researcher that bridges gap between industry and research in the field of Human Interface Technology, especially in education and health sectors.’
Since Bhuvan was so focused on working in the HIT Lab before coming to New Zealand, she found her new environment to be an unexpected bonus within her new chapter in life.
‘I didn’t give much thought about what life in New Zealand would be like. But the University and country provided me with opportunities that I never knew existed, and by the end of the first week, Christchurch became home.
‘People are extremely nice and friendly. People also look very happy and content with their life and I haven’t seen this in anywhere else I’ve travelled before. I love the work-life balance here.’
Bhuvan believes life in New Zealand has helped change her in unexpected ways.
‘I have become very outdoorsy after coming here. I do frequent hikes in and around Christchurch. And I have been to many places in North and South Island. It feels safe everywhere. I recently completed Abel Tasman Coastal Track which was a great walk! So I would confidently say that this has been the best phase in my life so far.’