Research area: Sustainability-oriented innovation in building thermal energy storage based on phase change material (PCM)
Why did you choose to study your degree?
I was determined to receive my doctorate by conducting interdisciplinary research at UOW.
What have you enjoyed most about it so far?
There has been joy in every single moment. One may ask how it is possible, as undertaking a PhD is a challenging journey. Research challenges helped me reach where I am standing and become who I am today. In challenging moments, I practiced staying patient, facing the problem, adding to my knowledge and skills, finding the solution, learning, and growing. As such, I have enjoyed the whole journey because overcoming obstacles throughout my study has made me stronger and helped me to get one step closer to my final goal.
Why is that area of study important to you?
I think climate change is the most critical challenge our generation will face. As such, we need to focus more on innovative solutions to help the built environment become more sustainable.
Have you had any practical learning experiences?
As part of my PhD, I had the chance to participate in the Solar Decathlon Middle East competition as an Innovations Coordinator. I was responsible for the HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) installation and commissioning whilst in Dubai. The Solar Decathlon project was a hands-on experience. The range of experiences I gained was vast, from learning basic construction technical skills such as drilling, to designing, developing, and implementing water-based PCM thermal energy storage (TES), which was part of my research. This experience allowed me to practice working in large teams and making critical decisions , so I could manage students, stakeholders or solve a problem.
At the end of your degree, what did you achieve?
I accomplished interdisciplinary research at UOW. Conducting an interdisciplinary PhD thesis can be challenging, but I do believe there are gaps between disciplines that researchers need to pay attention to. We can do better if we (engineers) collaborate with other disciplines and think innovatively.
As I always say… the best is yet to come. I am ready for the next chapter, teaching the next generation and having impact.
Why did you choose the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre?
The SBRC is a hub for innovation and multi-disciplinary research, and supports students and stakeholders to complete sustainability projects in the building and construction sector.
What was the goal of your research?
I conducted interdisciplinary research on sustainable housing innovations by applying Solar Decathlon datasets as a knowledge source. The major findings of my research include a new methodology for interdisciplinary research; the production of original knowledge from the analysis of the Solar Decathlon datasets (engineering, marketing, and sociology); an innovations framework for sustainability-oriented technologies that come from a case study of the Desert Rose Solar Decathlon house; and development of an innovative technology (PCM TES) which offers an experimental based methodology for its design optimisation.
What did you enjoy the most about your experience with SBRC?
I cannot pick one experience that I enjoyed the most:
- I have enjoyed having an office in a building that is the first in Australia to achieve Living Building Challenge certification. As an HDR student, I have had a chance to learn about sustainable building just by going to my office to do my research tasks.
- I have used the word “SBRC family” whenever I want to talk about SBRC people. I felt supported when I needed support. It was not easy to be in Australia and do my research during the COVID pandemic. My supervisors, who are part of the “SBRC family,” were supportive.
- I want to ask a question…How often can you grab vegetables from your office garden and add them to your meal?
What do you like most about the UOW campus?
My office has been in the Sustainable Building Research Centre at UOW's Innovation Campus, which is only a five-minute walk to the ocean. I took a short walk by the ocean to get relaxed and energised whenever I needed.
Why did you choose to study here?
The calm, relaxed, natural environment of Wollongong and the Solar Decathlon project accomplished by SBRC.