An abundance of resources in Australia has made Carmen Wouters’ decision to study her PhD in electrical energy systems at University College London the perfect choice.
The Belgian PhD student, 24, is focussing on the ‘optimal design and operation of future energy systems’ at UCL, having firstly studied energy engineering at the University of Leuven and then undertaken an internship with the chemical company BASF in China.
As a BHP Billiton scholarship holder, Carmen says UCL Australia was a logical choice in continuing her study.
“UCL Australia’s School of Energy and Resources (SERA) focusses on multidisciplinary research in energy and as I did my masters in energy engineering I decided to apply for a scholarship here,” she says.
“There is a strong focus here on working with industry; there are possibilities to connect with industry that I might not have gotten at other universities.
“Australia, especially South Australia, aside from Europe is leading in wind and solar energy, there’s an abundance of resources in South Australia.”
Carmen says the multidisciplinary nature of the campus is also beneficial.
“It’s very personal, you can throw ideas around and it’s really interesting that rather than sitting in a room with all electrical engineers as you might expect at larger campuses, you have the opportunity to talk to other people from different areas and throw ideas around and gain a different perspective on your studies.”
Carmen says the lifestyle South Australia also has to offer has been an added bonus.
“I like Sydney, I like Melbourne, but they’re really big,” she says.
“Especially coming back from China, I appreciate Adelaide being easy to get around, and it has a really nice climate.
“I’m really happy with my decision, it’s a really good place to live.”
Carmen has recently presented at All-Energy Australia 2013. Read about her presentation.