Dr Yue Zhang

BEng Materials Science and Technology, 2013; PhD Materials Science, 2017
Higher Research Scientist, National Physical Laboratory

Being a Higher Research Scientist at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) entails day-to-day science and engineering activities to build up hands on skills and analytical mind-sets. There are plenty of opportunities to collaborate with both commercial and academia clients in the industry. This could involve setting up testing apparatus, performing metrology based experiments and writing technical reports for clients, and establishing national testing facilities to benefit UK economy.

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

What I enjoy most about my job is the close interactions with industrial clients so that the science output can be used as a guidance or consultancy advice to improve product development and activity.

What made you interested in your current role?

A platform with scientific reputations and opportunities to work with high calibre scientists.

yue zhang

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

The PhD programme at Birmingham has provided me sound technical knowledge and skillset to quality as a scientist after graduation. I want to develop my career around the technical background I gained during my time at Birmingham, and further more I wish to extend myself further as a technical expert in the engineering field of the energy industry. I feel it is particularly important because of the climate crisis and net zero energy transition challenge we are facing in society now.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham?

It was a rare chance that I was selected into a 2+2 exchange programme with the School of Metallurgy and Materials, so I started the 2nd year of my BEng degree at Birmingham. The campus is very green and attractive, and the culture and environment is fascinating.

What are your fondest memories of the University?

Being engaged with different societies such as the Dance Society where we would learn new routines and also sell tickets to students for an annual performance show with all revenue going to charity. I also enjoyed the Farmers’ Market everyone month on campus where we could pick-up fresh flowers or house plants to decorate our student accommodation.

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

Yes I was involved in fundraising for charities and lots of sport activities such as badminton, yoga and dance.

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

The University of Birmingham provided me a chance to study abroad and broaden my horizons from day one. The choice of being an international student and live thousands of miles away from home is not an easy one, but definitely a rewarding one if you make it to the finishing line with good spirits! Lots of challenges and hurdles but the biggest impact UoB made for my life is its open, welcoming, friendly and embracing culture so that I know there is always someone to provide support.

Top tip from Yue

“Enjoy being a student and make full use of campus life!”


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