Undergraduate News: Research Exchange NCSU, USA

Issue Month: 

  • Dec

Issue Year: 


A group of five undergraduate students is now preparing to travel to North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the USA at the end of December. They will spend two month at the University during January and February with the aim of gaining critical research skills and experiencing the global nature of scientific research.  

With more than 34,000 students and nearly 8,000 faculty and staff, NCSU is globally recognized in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. At NCSU the students will work under the guidance of an academic within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.  The project topic will be aligned with an academic at UNSW so that the students can continue the work upon return or write up results for publication (maybe the work will even develop into their honours project or more!).

The program cost is subsidised by the School of Materials Science and Engineering to assist with travel and living expenses during the exchange period.  Upon return, participating students will be required to present a poster about their research experience at the annual School industrial training poster night. The five students share with Materials News their motivation to join the program and their future career goals:

Scarlet Kong 

"Engineering requires the flexibility of thought, being adaptable to changes and working with a variety of people. Going on exchange will allow me to learn and develop these qualities, as well as develop my communication and research skills, which will be vital for my thesis and future projects.  

I look forward to experiencing the international scale of the materials industry by learning from the personal experiences of American material scientists and engineers.  In doing so, I hope to develop my own networks. Travelling to the USA also helps fulfil my dream of exploring the world one day. In future, I see myself continuing on with research and developing new materials that will benefit our rapidly changing societal needs."




Thai Ly 

"The allure of being able to travel whilst still fuelling my desire to become an engineer is the main motivation towards applying for this NCSU exchange project. This opportunity will not only strengthen my ability to undertake self-guided study but also experience the global nature of research. I also want to experience the culture of another place to broaden my perception of the world. 

In the future, I see myself as a scientist/engineer whose work contributes to society and the scientific community like many of the people I’ve met from UNSW. Also an adventurer in between, much like “The Doctor”."

Ralph Bulanadi 

"I've always had an interest in learning and finding out new things. When I grew up and started going through high school, I started thinking more about how this knowledge is used in our lives. Imagine how happy I was when I learned that in my first year of university I could contribute to our understanding of materials and their applications in a completely different country!
 I really hope the skills I learn over this research exchange will allow me to better contribute to further research and development in science and engineering, particularly in the design of materials used in biomedical applications."

Amanda Lai 

"I was immediately intrigued by this opportunity to go to North Carolina State University and quick to get my application in. It looked like an amazing way to get in all the benefits of industrial training, an overseas exchange and a scholarship and all within two short months.

In terms of industrial training, it was a benefit that the program was at a university since I’ve always been interested in the research side of things and how it works with the teaching and learning that I am already familiar with. It will also be a great chance to travel to a new country, be away from home, and fill up my address book (inbox) with new contacts."


Irene Susanto

"I applied for the short-term research exchange at NCSU as I want to learn new things and gain new experiences outside Australia. I am interested in developing my knowledge in the field of material science and NCSU has provided a good opportunity for me to learn about my current degree and apply it to the real world.

As I will be doing research for TEM on biochars, I hope I can gain as much knowledge as possible and continue the research for my thesis in UNSW. In future time, I hope the experience helps me to broaden my scientific horizons going forward."


Read about the Asiabound Research Exchange to Taiwan