The dizzy heights of Hong Kong
5 March 2010
Israel Osofero, a Research Assistant in the Department of Civil Engineering, visited the University of Hong Kong as part of the 2009 Asia Summer Schools, which are open to all first year PhD students. He reports on his experience:
“The Hong Kong Summer School combined a four-day Research Skills Development Course with a three-week research programme overseas.
I was attracted to the Asia Summer Schools scheme because it gave me a week out of my normal research routine and I was really looking forward to making new friends. I wasn’t disappointed – the people I met were fantastic and Hong Kong is a very beautiful city, with many natural attractions like mountains, forest and sea.
During the course we were taught to collaborate in a fun way. We played football, ate meals together and all the time we were learning. There were also series of lectures and seminars on collaboration and people management.
Everyone was partnered up with a student from Hong Kong. My partner had a PhD in music which is very different from engineering. We had to do a project that cut across our disciplines – creating a structural design for a music concert. It was a really interesting experience as we had to compromise and understand each other’s disciplines.
The course helped me to develop my people management skills, which are important for collaboration with my supervisor and people in my research group back at Imperial. It also taught me how to get along with anyone, as we worked with international students from different backgrounds and with different interests.
I really enjoyed seeing how PhD students worked in other universities. The University of Hong Kong was different from Imperial, but when it came down to it, the challenges are the same everywhere.
The best thing is that I am still in touch with friends I met there and if ever I go to Hong Kong I know I have a place to stay.”
Read more on Summer School opportunities for Imperial students