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How I became an R&D Engineer

Overseas student, Jianan Peng, studied an MSc in Innovative Structural Materials. Now he’s a Research & Development Engineer for a Chinese construction company.

Jianan Peng
Jianan Peng (MSc Innovative Structural Materials 2017)

As an international student, I was attracted to the University of Bath because of its excellent reputation and rankings. The Civil Engineering: Innovative Structural Materials MSc also has a cross-disciplinary approach that brings architecture and engineering students together and guides this collaboration in the early stages. That’s why I chose Bath over other UK universities.

I really enjoyed my studies. My classmates were from all around the world and we had many discussions after lectures. The course provided a general background knowledge of many advanced structural materials and I developed my research skills while writing my dissertation. This is very useful in my current job as a Research and Development Engineer as I’m responsible for implementing new technologies.

Alongside my studies, I also chose to do an English cultural course and learned many interesting and funny tips about daily life. Bath is also the perfect place for hiking. The Skyline walk starts at the University and offers impressive views of the city and countryside.

After graduating in 2017, I came back to Shenzhen, China, and worked as a structural engineer for two years in a design company before moving to a research-based construction company, China Construction Science & Technology Group Co., Ltd.

A typical day involves working with scientists who develop innovative technologies and project managers whose projects may face problems that can’t be solved by traditional methods. Communication is key to my role.

Recently, my focus has been on 3D-printing and digital fabrication and my goal is to become an expert in this field. In the future, my ambition is to start a construction company and become a Chief Technology Officer.

My advice to Civil Engineering students is to gain a broad understanding of structure and materials. Calculations don't equal structures; here at Bath, you could learn new material technologies that might be able to change how a structure forms in the future.

Studying engineering and design at Bath

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