Graduate Profile - Min Chen

PhD (Environmental Engineering)

Thesis Title: On the Predictability of Hydrology Using Land Surface Models and Field Soil Moisture Data

Graduate Profile - Min Chen 

Min Chen loves a challenge, so embarking on the research higher degree journey was a perfect opportunity for her.

When Min completed her Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Science at Wuhan University, China in 2008, she was keen to further her studies. Min did her research and discovered the University of Newcastle's high profile Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment and its international reputation for excellence in research and teaching. As a result, Min immediately focussed on gaining admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Engineering).

I learn how to research an area that I am interested in at the standard of the western academic world. I have a stronger will to overcome difficulties...Any achievements bring me pleasure and confidence.

With financial assistance of a China Scholarship stipend, supplemented by funding from the Faculty and a University tuition fee scholarship, Min embarked on her PhD where her study focused on the soil moisture - vegetation climate-change feedback system.

Min is motivated by the career options that will open up to her within universities, research institutes, and multinational companies. She has found the research journey to be challenging and rewarding. In Min's words, "I learn how to research an area that I am interested in at the standard of the western academic world. I have a stronger will to overcome difficulties – I liken PhD study to constructing a tall building, which is really hard but I am happy to do it. Any achievements bring me pleasure and confidence".

The Faculty's expertise, coupled with the multicultural environment on campus, made the University of Newcastle the ideal location for Min to study. Upon arrival in Newcastle she also discovered the natural beauty of the campus with its bushland setting, and fell in love with the great beaches nearby.

After commencing her research higher degree Min was proactive in ensuring that her experience at the University was satisfying and rewarding both academically and socially. She started an on campus ping-pong club, where members meet for tournaments and dinner parties, and was also involved with other social events that bring together international and local students, such as multi-cultural lunches and dinners, a three day boat trip, bushwalking, and for the first time in her life, camping in a National Park. 

Min's enthusiasm for the student experience has also seen her become an international student representative of the Newcastle University Postgraduate Student's Association (NUPSA).