Faculty of Engineering

Meet our students

Find out why our students choose to study with us and what they say about the experience.

Chemical and Materials Engineering


“I went into research because I enjoy finding ways to answer questions. Doing a PhD is similar to solving a puzzle, which I find quite exciting.

"I believe my research area, organic thin film transistors, is a hot topic at the moment. Basically, I am fabricating a transistor out of polymer, which would open up an opportunity in the future for flexible, transparent electronic devices. This topic is actively researched around the world at this moment, so it should provide wide prospects for me when I graduate. As well, The University of Auckland has a lot of research collaboration with other universities around the globe. I would like to work in a research institute or university in Japan or Europe.”

Noviana Salim is studying for a PhD in Chemical and Materials Engineering.

Electrical and Computer Engineering


“I find electromagnetics the most interesting  area of electrical engineering because it underpins and explains the entire subject. I wanted to further my knowledge of the area, and a PhD was the obvious choice.

"I’m looking at interference modelling and mitigation for indoor wireless systems. The greatest thing about PhD study is the freedom to work on your project. I am part of The University of Auckland Radio Systems Group, which is very well recognised internationally. I also have great supervisors and several good friends studying here.

"I am considering an academic career. I enjoy research and after tutoring several labs last year, I’ve discovered I enjoy teaching too.”

Andrew Austin is studying for a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


Civil & Environmental Engineering


“I enjoyed my undergraduate studies and I wanted to continue learning and being challenged academically, so I enrolled in a PhD.

"I am focusing on Hydraulic Engineering, in particular how clusters of different sized gravel particles form in gravel river beds. These clusters protect rivers from erosion so knowledge of how they occur can be used in river engineering to reduce erosion and protect river beds and habitats. I like being involved in a project that has the potential to improve our fragile river environments.

"I also enjoy the hands on aspect of the laboratory work. My research will be conducted in a flume in The University of Auckland Hydraulics Laboratory.”

Katherine Heays is studying for a PhD in Civil Engineering.


Anthea Johnson 
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering candidate, Anthea Johnson, is pursuing her doctorate because, after completing a research project, she got hooked on the research aspect of engineering.


Mechanical Engineering


“I studied the flow boiling heat transfer of carbon dioxide at low temperatures. Carbon dioxide is emerging as an alternative environmentally-friendly and energy efficient refrigerant in the food and refrigeration industries. A better understanding of the heat transfer of carbon dioxide is an essential component of this. It was exciting to be investigating an emerging technology that has environmental benefits.

"The programme involved experimental techniques and modelling analysis, all of which I really enjoyed. I designed and built an experimental rig to measure new experimental data. It was very interesting to be involved in every step of reaching my research objective.

"I liked the academic atmosphere here – it was open and active and people from different cultures and backgrounds happily worked and studied together.”

Xiumin Zhao graduated with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.


Engineering Science


“I have a passion for research and a PhD was a natural extension of my masters degree. I completed my masters in Germany and was attracted to New Zealand because of the people and the country, but also the excellent study conditions The University of Auckland had to offer. I was part of the best Operations Research group in Australasia.

"My PhD was looking at optimising airline schedules. I chose this topic because of the challenge of using optimisation and mathematics techniques to solve a real world problem. I’ve travelled internationally to give talks on my topic and exchange ideas with others in my field. I’ve also benefitted from spending time in the airline industry in New Zealand."

Oliver Weide graduated with a PhD in Engineering Science.


Kavinesh Singh 
PhD in Operations Research

Operations Research student, Kavinesh Singh, decided to pursue doctoral study after his supervisor mentioned the possibility to him. He researched the consequential career opportunities, and decided it would be a valuable endeavour.