I came to Australia in 2008 and completed my year 11 and 12 in Queensland. I first heard about the Australian Maritime College (AMC) at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) when a representative visited my school. I had always wanted to be an engineer, but it was only then that I decided that Ocean Engineering was the degree for me.

I am from Nantong in the Jiangsu province of China. Nantong is not a very big city, but there are lots of shipyards built along the Yangtze River, so I was aware of the potential of the industry. I began my undergraduate degree at UTAS in 2010 after receiving an AMC Outstanding Achiever Scholarship.

The environment at AMC proved to be very conducive to study. I was on the Principal’s Roll of Excellence every year, and in my final year I was lucky enough to receive the Captain Thomas Swanson Prize for most outstanding graduate in a degree program at the AMC’s National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics. I was also awarded The Jan Soeholt Prize for academic excellence in Bachelor of Engineering (Ocean Engineering)(Hons).

The key to being a good engineer is not just good maths and physics. It is also good communication and that is definitely encouraged here. AMC is a very multi-national institute. I had classmates and friends from all over the world and that taught me the value of good interpersonal skills, co-operation and teamwork. Having a good group of friends around you also helps you to continue to be enthusiastic about your studies.  We often made up our own discussion groups to help each other with assignments. The lecturers’ open door policy also helps to foster better communication at all levels.

There are lots of opportunities for practical work at AMC. Students take part in lots of model-building competitions and they get to test their designs in an excellent suite of facilities. You’re able to link your theories to up-to-date industry practises, because of the links that have been fostered at AMC. For example, I did my final year project with Austral Ships. They provided us with the industry standard, and we designed our models accordingly.

I chose to continue on to postgraduate studies at AMC because I wanted to do something special – something new and innovative that would help me have a better career.

My PhD research topic focuses on floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. I hope to look at their global performance in the sea environment, and the optimisation of mooring systems when offloading LNG to LNG carriers.

It’s a cutting-edge topic because no facilities have been built yet. But, I know there is at least one underway, and that more companies have moved into the research and development stage. The potential of LNG as a natural energy resource is only just being recognised, so by the time I finish my PhD in 2018, I expect it will have gained even more momentum.

Tasmania is a very nice place with a very good environment. I have done a lot of travelling around since I have been here and seen a lot of the sites. One of my favourite was Cradle Mountain in winter. It was covered in snow and very beautiful.

I lived on campus at Investigator Hall for the first year and a half of my undergraduate studies, and it was a great introduction to life in Tasmania. Finding a house off campus was not hard. Once you make friends in Launceston it is really very easy to find places to rent, there is always somebody who knows.

I was also lucky enough to find a part-time job tutoring in maths and statics at AMC. I really enjoyed it. The feedback was good and it was a chance to meet different people and to practise my English. There are many benefits to choosing to study in an English-speaking country. English is a very international language and the skills that I have learnt here will be an asset to any future employer.

I would definitely recommend the University of Tasmania to other international students because it has a very friendly environment. AMC has some great engineering facilities that can really benefit your studies and the lecturers are excellent. I also believe that AMC’s strong links to industry help increase your chances of getting a job.

Explore your interest in ocean engineering by finding out more about our Bachelor of Engineering (Ocean Engineering) (Honours)