Dr Andrew Kostryzhev

PhD Metallurgy and Materials, 2009
Project Manager, University of Queensland

Originally from Ukraine and now based in Brisbane, Australia.

Currently, I am the manager of a development project dedicated to design and construction of a modern material characterisation facility for geoscience, mining, mineral processing, and metallurgy. It will host 10-20 state-of-the-art imaging, chemical analysis, and mineral identification instruments, and will become a platform for close cooperation between the University of Queensland and local industries.

On a day-to-day basis I communicate to various stakeholders, instrument manufacturers, architects, building and consultancy companies, collect and process broad spectrum of information to drive the construction process of the scientific facility. Parallel to this, I lead and support several research and consultancy projects in metal manufacturing, microscopy, and chemical analysis of hard materials.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

My work contributes to the growth of research capacity at my university in a certain area of engineering. It will strengthen collaboration between several schools and research groups and will positively influence business relations between the university and local industries.

andrew kostryzhev

What made you interested in your current role?

A possibility to meet interesting people with various professional backgrounds, learn new things, develop myself, produce results useful for the research and academic communities.

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Almost my entire career, prior to and after Birmingham, I’ve worked in academia. Although, I have spent some time at a consultancy company and carried out my private engineering consultancy business. I moved from the UK to Australia in 2011 to work on steel chemistry and processing technology optimisation projects with the University of Wollongong, and BlueScope Steel and Bisalloy who are key steel manufacturing companies in Australia. In addition to cold metal forming technologies, with which I used to work before and during my Birmingham times, in Wollongong I penetrated (i) hot processing research, (ii) developed new skills in advanced microscopy and microstructure characterisation, (iii) further mastered analysis of phase transformations and microstructure-properties relationships, (iv) strengthened my knowledge in fracture development and corrosion, (v) improved my class room teaching and student supervision experience, (vi) obtained new skills in research grant writing. Then later at the University of Queensland, complex chemical analysis in electron microscopes became my major area of interest. So, since graduation from Birmingham I have significantly expanded my areas of professional practice, and further grown in research management and service development in academic environment.

We Are (Third Width)

What skills you learned your time at the University would you say you use most in your job?

I did learn specific skills related to the discipline of material science and engineering like operation of microscopes, testing machines, measuring instruments, furnaces and other laboratory equipment, and I continue using them today. However, the most important is, probably, the culture of gathering and processing information and methods of knowledge transfer to practice, aiming to create a positive effect in everyday life.

What motivates you?

I want to see the result of my efforts.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

I applied because the areas of expertise at the School of Metallurgy and Materials were in line with my prior to Birmingham professional experience, and I was sure I would improve at UoB.

What are your fondest memories of the University?

I would like to pay upmost respect to my supervisors Professor Claire Davis (now at the University of Warwick) and Dr Martin Strangwood. Their professionalism, patience, and honesty made my life easier at the University. For some time I lived in the student accommodation Oakley Court in Edgbaston; it’s a nice place, a 10 min walk from my Department. This helped with time management. The UoB campus is very beautiful, with many trees and grass. It was a pleasure to spend some time sitting on the lawn opposite the library. The Chancellor’s Court is a magnificent example of architectural design. The Barber Institute of Fines Arts hosts a large collection of paintings, especially Impressionists. I met my wife while working for UoB after graduation.

UoB is a good university, I bear very warm feelings about it and my times spent in Birmingham.

Did you get involved in any extracurricular activities as a student?

I used to play the piano and went to a dancing club in the Guild.

How did your time at university help you start your career?

I was a mature PhD student with a certain track record. UoB has opened new opportunities for me.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

If you are studying materials engineering, keep in mind machine design and energy generation. If you are a more experimentally focused, try computer modelling. It’s good to understand in project management and economic relations. Be ready to forget what you are studying now in order to get job. Be healthy, make new friends, entertain. University is a period in life, not a barrier to overcome.