Chris Dydula’s Summer 2012 Research in Singapore

“My time abroad at NUS this summer has been a fanastic opportunity. I have had the chance to try so many new things I had never done before, including my first taste of independent living which has greatly contributed to my personal growth.

I appreciated the freedom my supervisor gave me in choosing the direction I took with my project. I focused on developing simple stirling engines and was able to apply my knowledge from the U of T EngSci Thermodynamics course, which was encouraging. I was fortunate to be working in a busy lab full of NUS graduate and undergraduate students, as well as students from other institutions, technical staff, professors and of course, my U of T colleagues with whom I could discuss and reflect on the project with. My work took me out of the lab as well; I spent my time in workshops, meeting with scientists and engineers at the Singapore Science Centre and traveling all over Singapore in search of the perfect materials for my engine designs. It was really all and more than I expected out of an exchange that is complementary to my academic studies at U of T, to say the least.

Aside from work, I took advantage of the free time I had to explore Singapore and other countries in Southeast Asia – Bangkok and Melaka – and seeing these places showed me how different lifestyles and conditions are in other parts of the world. These experiences afforded me much more than just work relationships with my fellow EngSci students. We visited numerous sites of interest and I was able to partake in local cuisine that I have never tried before. Admittedly I was apprehensive about living in a foreign place but my colleagues made it so much easier and enjoyable.

I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given this summer and have made an effort to take full advantage of this placement. The lab and workshop experience and the connections I have made with NUS staff and my colleagues are incredibly valuable and enhance my professional development. The NUS exchange will certainly strengthen my pursuit of graduate studies and my career.”