Meet some postgraduate research students
Kingston University offers a vibrant and supportive environment in which to study and research. On this page some of our postgraduate research students talk about their own areas of research and their experiences at the University.
Max Pearson, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
Max talks about the transferable skills he has acquired at Kingston: "Kingston has a lot to offer for research students with good links to other universities as well as to industry. This has help me progress my PhD research in ways that I did not previously foresee. I have not only learnt what it takes to be a PhD researcher in terms of work, but also many other transferable skills." Read more.
"I decided to study at Kingston during my undergraduate studies as I wanted to be close to London and at a University that was highly regarded for engineering. After my undergraduate degree, I was approached for jobs and was also offered the chance to continue the work I did for my dissertation at PhD level. I decided that for me research was where my heart was.
"Kingston has a lot to offer for research students with good links to other universities as well as to industry. This for me was ideal and it has help me progress my PhD research in ways that I did not previously foresee. I have not only learnt what it takes to be a PhD researcher in terms of work, but also many other transferable skills that I have no doubt will help me in my career as well as my own personal satisfaction of life.
"Kingston has a lot to offer in terms of facilities and support as well, and not just that it has a large social scene with the possibilities of joining clubs that will give you further skills that will help you in whatever you chose to do in your future.
"I am researching a new kind of reinforcement bar, which could be used as an alternative to steel. There are a few FRPs (fibre reinforced polymers) – glass (GFRP), basalt (BFRP) and carbon (CFRP); and I specialise in BFRP. I study it in relation to its potential to be able to tension it ie pre- and post-tensioning which can be used for large structures, such as bridges and high buildings, as well as its behaviour both structural charatiersistics and chemical. BFRP is twice as strong as steel and six times lighter, as well as having little or no corrosion affects.
"My director of studies (Dr Ted Donchev) is a leading researcher in the field of structural polymers and my other supervisor Professor Mukesh Limbachiya is a leading voice in sustainability in the construction industry. Their combined efforts have allowed me to progress in to a researcher and write in journals as well as conference papers. The University has allowed me to attend those conferences in order to continually help me progress as a researcher in structural engineering."
Andrea Salin, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
Andrea talks about opportunities that he has had for international collaboration: "We have started international collaboration with world-leading research scientists from Russia and China. The contribution of these top researchers has further enhanced the quality of our research and raised the international visibility of our group as well as Kingston University." Read more.
"In 2009, after obtaining my MSc in Aerospace Engineering with distinction, I applied for a PhD studentship offered by Kingston University. The project, supervised by Dr Yufeng Yao and Dr Sing Lo, involves numerical flow analysis of supersonic inlets (eg SCRAMJET).
"Accurate predictions of three-dimensional crossing shock wave and turbulent boundary layer interactions are of particular importance in the design of high-speed vehicles. Such flows can generate intense heat transfer rates and pressure levels, and complex large-scale unsteady separated flows which can largely increase drag. In general, the shock-wave boundary layer interaction phenomena occur in a wide range of high-speed aerodynamic flow problems, such as supersonic/hypersonic air intakes, propelling nozzles at off-design conditions and deflected flow controls.
"Our efforts to advance the current level of research in this field are hence tailored to improve numerical predictions, focusing on turbulence modelling effects, unsteadiness mechanisms, and fluctuating loadings (dynamics and thermal) on the walls. Also, inherent flow structure and topologies are considered in detail.
"This PhD studentship also grants me the opportunity to teach computational fluid dynamics (CFD) as a GTA (graduate teaching assistant) to students on BSc and MSc courses. I am also a PhD student representative of Roehampton Vale engineering campus.
"Weekly supervision has been effectively provided by my supervisors throughout these years. My director of studies is always keen to support me constructively by sharing his outstanding experience and technical background.
"We have started international collaboration with world-leading research scientists from Russia and China. The contribution of these top researchers has further enhanced the quality of our research and raised the international visibility of our group as well as Kingston University.
"Overall, the experience gained here at Kingston University is simply great and I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to stand out from the crowd in an international scenario."
Sarah Zaidan, Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
Sarah talks about the stimulating research environment created by staff at Kingston: "The staff possess a phenomenal level of knowledge and expertise in their respective disciplines and they strive to create an intellectually and creatively stimulating environment for research students." Read more.
"I came to Kingston University to pursue a masters degree in Illustration and Animation because the teaching philosophy of the University was complimentary to my personal ethos as an artist. After doing so, I decided to undertake a PhD in the same discipline, for the same reasons.
"The research environment of the Design Research Centre and the Visual and Material Culture Research Centre (due to the interdisciplinary nature of my research, I am affiliated with both) is positive and invigorating. The staff possess a phenomenal level of knowledge and expertise in their respective disciplines and they strive to create an intellectually and creatively stimulating environment for research students.
"I have received support and supervision that has been truly exemplary. My supervisory team has, since I began my research, provided me with guidance, advice, suggestions and direction that have been nothing less than crucial. My research is thorough, strong and original because of this. As a practice-based researcher, my project has required me to learn programming code. My supervisory team aided in procuring the necessary tutorial support for me to accomplish this. Through Kingston University, I have also received training towards my future ambitions as a teacher in higher education and valuable research student training sessions.
"I have made liberal use of the Learning Resource Centres at both Knights Park and Penrhyn Road during the course of my research, and have consistently found their content beneficial and comprehensive. I have also undertaken digital media modules in order to learn the programming skills my research required, and found the computer labs at Penrhyn Road exceptional.
"The location of Kingston University could not be more perfect. While I deliberately reside less than half an hour away from the Knights Park and Penrhyn Road campuses, my research has often required me to venture into London for conferences and exhibitions. Kingston's location has made this very straightforward.
"As an international student, I feel valued and supported at Kingston University. The International Student Advisory Centre, in particular, has consistently guided and supported my visa applications, as well as answering any questions I may have. My experience as a research student has been thoroughly positive in every way."