Durga Tandon, Steel Hub’s first PhD candidate, has just participated in the 2023 Shanghai Jiao Tong University “Zhi-Hong” International Summer School of Advanced Materials from 2-14th July 2023.
Durga came across this opportunity through her supervisor, Senior Professor Huijun Li. Despite initial doubts due to her PhD workload, her supervisor's support and motivation convinced her to attend. Durga received a scholarship from the host university, and her home university arranged her travel, allowing her to fully enjoy the program without financial worries.
As an international student taking part in the summer program, Durga can confidently say that these three weeks have been an extraordinary experience, right from the moment she landed in Shanghai. During her enriching experience at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, esteemed professors from renowned institutions like the University of Cambridge delivered insightful lectures, fostering a deeper understanding of a diverse range of topics and perspectives. Durga also had the privilege of utilising the university’s state-of-the-art research facilities, where she collaborated with the materials and welding research group at the university. Furthermore, engaging with fellow scholars and students from around the world allowed her to establish valuable connections and broaden her global network. The field visits to the Shanghai radiation facility and various steel and battery manufacturing plants were equally captivating.
Additionally, the participating students, had the opportunity to present their research posters and were also assigned group projects on future materials during the program. It proved to be immensely rewarding, as Durga’s group achieved the best presentation award, and she secured the most popular poster award. Beyond academia, the cultural exchange programs offered unforgettable experiences, including tours around the captivating old towns and gardens of Shanghai, a memorable dragon boat adventure, and delightful meet and greets while savouring authentic Chinese food and drinks. This extraordinary journey left an enduring mark, fostering personal growth and professional development, and Durga is immensely grateful for this invaluable opportunity.