PhD Environmental Health and Risk Management


My name’s Zhe Tian. I’m a final year PhD
student based in Environmental Risk and Health Management Department. My research is about
identifying and quantify sources of air pollutants in urban area in China. I chose Birmingham University because we have
a leading scientific group on air quality research. And another reason is Birmingham
is a very nice city and we also have a really lovely campus. I need to do quite a lot of things per day.
I think in the early morning I will reply to some emails and do some reading – I think
keep reading is a very good habit. And I will just go to the lab and finish the plan of
the lab work and proceed in my lab because my research is more about experiments. But
also I will meet my first supervisor weekly to have a very regular meeting with him to
secure my progress is well monitored. It’s a less formal. And every month I will have
a very formal meeting with my first and co supervisor to discuss what I have done in
the last month. We have a very big office, and all students
are studying similar topics. So normally, for example, during lunchtime we will communicate
with each other in the common room while eating. It’s a very good networking and we can also
know some frontiers from other research groups. My favourite thing staying in Birmingham is
to build a very productive relationship between myself and the supervisor, and growing that
from a taught student to a real researcher. Apart from the academics I’m really enjoying
lots of activities provided by Guild of Students, and this year I joined the Archery Society.
I practice actually twice a week. From this sport I’m learning how to be focused, how
to be a calm person but also confident person to build a very good psychology. Hopefully I can do a short term, for example,
two year postdoc in somewhere, and to gain more experience and publishing more articles
before I really join the academic society. And after that I want to go back to China
to carry on my research on air quality in China and to do some contributions. From this
year, because it’s my final year, I build a very close contact with the career network
to have some more ideas about what’s going in the future. Ideally I really want to be a lecturer in
a university. So I attended a training course by the Graduate School on Teaching. I finish
most of them. And every year I will do some demonstration for Masters students. And for
publishing papers, I’ve already got a draft for a review on my research topic, and in
the final year I will publish one or two other papers on my data to show what I’ve done in
the last three years.

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