Ji Xi studied noise modelling and offshore engineering as part of her PhD at Newcastle University's Singapore campus. A particular focus of her work was looking at how noise prediction can impact offshore structures such as oil platforms and marine ships.
"I developed new methods to make the noise prediction easier and more efficient," she explains. "The goal is to save time and labour compared to the more traditional methods of vessel-monitoring noises at sea. Basically, I have developed a neuro network model to monitor the noise situation on an offshore structure."
The Singapore campus has been a great place for Ji, as it specialises in helping students get a career in the marine sector. There are also degrees available in chemical engineering, electrical power engineering, food and human nutrition, marine engineering and mechanical design.
Ji says campus life is "nice and supportive". She praises Dr Cheng Siong Chin for making her experience go smoothly: "He was my main supervisor and he gave me lots of help to pass through the programme. He always offers knowledge and support."
A big chunk of Ji's PhD involved being stationed at a company to assist with her research, an experience she says will help the transition into regular work now that she has completed her studies. "This affected my social life on campus, as I had to spend a lot of my time in an office," she concedes. "But when we had our research retreat session I would talk to the classmates and there was a good rapport with them. I've made a lot of friends and we call each other up to check how we're doing in our careers!" In her spare time, Ji likes to do oil paintings and watch badminton games.
Having access to the Newcastle Research and Innovation Institute (NewRIIS) has also helped Ji’s studies immeasurably, with the 11,000 ft2 unit’s four laboratories, visualisation suite and research areas aiding her academic progress. She adds: “I was born in China, but I moved to Singapore to start my education when I was 18. Newcastle gave me the knowledge to start my career, the lecturers are friendly and were always approachable.
“Looking forward, I want to continue with my research career into noise and acoustics. Or maybe I can go into other areas, such as artificial intelligence. But the dream is to continue researching sound – it’s something I love to do.”
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