Meet Flow Noise Group PhD candidate Ziao Zhang

PhD Candidate Ziao Zhang

International Women's Day is coming up on Sunday, 8 March. To commemorate International Women's Day, we chat with Ziao Zhang, one of Flow Noise Group's PhD candidates. Specialising in aeroacoustics, aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, Ziao joined the FNG from China and has been in Sydney since Dec 2016. Get to more about Ziao.

How did you get into the Flow Noise Group?

I was searching on the internet and looking for Universities. I found Prof. Con Doolan's website and noticed that his background is similar to mine. The FNG are also able to provide the lab facilities that I wanted for my research. 

What is your current project?

I am doing research on fuel injection in SCRAMJETS (Supersonic Combustion RAMJETS) in Supersonic Crossflow. My study focus is mainly on how to improve the performance of the SCRAMJET. Combustion occurs within the chambers of a SCRAMJET enging, but SCRAMJET speeds are usually around Mach 6 or Mach 10. At these speeds, the resistiance time of the fuel could be on the millisecond level. This makes duel mixing really difficult. My project aims to increase the mixing and improve the combustion efficiency to increase the performance of the engine. 

As an international student, how are you finding life in UNSW and Australia?

I think it is quite good here in UNSW and Sydney. Here you can find lots of local and international students. There is a merge of all the different cultures and I think it is quite interesting and good. Australia is nice!

What do you want to do after you finish your PhD?

I have not fully decided yet... Maybe stay in academic and keep going as a researcher. I hope to get a post-doc position here at UNSW! Industry, I mean... Both academia and industry have benefits, but in industry there is not much opportunity for you to achieve new technology or new skills. I know industry is more focused on engineering applications whereas in research, you can focus on new areas to find out more about them. 

What is your background degree?

I have a Bachelor degree in engineering mechanics, and I have a Masters degree in supersonic flow. I did both of these degrees in Beijing. 

What skillset do you have that helps the team?

The courses I have done and my background knowledge makes me a valuable member of the team. I know a little bit of software usage and I also have some engineering experience. I have done some industrial design - the previous lab I was in had both research and engineering applications, so I have seen how things work there. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The experiments usually take a really long time to set-up. Once you set-up, the results can surprise you, and once you finish analysing them, you can see that you have made some achievements. It is a really satisfying feeling. 

Why is FNG important to you?

I want to get my PhD degree and learn more, and I think this is a really nice group. I learn a lot from my supervisors. The individuals in our group all have our specialiaies: coding, designing, everything... So I have improved myself a lot being here.