With his father working as a builder contractor, Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) Graduate Diploma in Engineering Technology (Civil) student, Michael Zhou was exposed to the construction industry from an early age.
He was born and grew up in China, and although he has some mechanical and civil engineering work experience, however primarily worked in the mineral inspection industry for eight years.
“I gained a bachelor’s degree in engineering before coming to SIT,” he says.
As well as his father’s work history, Michael’s brother is a quantity surveyor back in China, sparking his interest in Civil Engineering.
“Another major reason is that there is a shortage of civil engineers in the New Zealand labour market,” says Michael.
“I think this means I can have a better career prospect and I am keen to become a chartered civil engineer in the future.”
He chose SIT as he was convinced the institute could provide him with an engineering education service that he will be satisfied with.
“SIT also provides free language courses for international students, which was very helpful for me to improve my language skills.
“And comparing with other institutes, the tuition in SIT is more reasonable and cost-effective, and the cost of living in Invercargill is not very high, and the population is small.”
“In my opinion, SIT is an ideal place for me to study efficiently.”
Learning at SIT is meeting his expectations of mastering the knowledge framework, standards, and industry laws and regulations on civil engineering in New Zealand to get ready to enter the industry.
He is also hoping to significantly improve his English, while studying here.
“I am especially grateful to my tutor, Carlo Gabriel, who is a very responsible tutor with outstanding experience and capability.”
“I especially enjoy his teaching style.”
“He combines practical work with theoretical teaching, which makes our study very effective.”
“With his help, we obtained a proposed project of the Invercargill City Council as our research topic. And with his encouragement, I used the research topic to participate in the SIT 3MT and won,” Michael says.
The ‘Three minute thesis’ competition centred around the I.C.C’s 2018-2028 Long Term Plan to upgrade aging wastewater pipelines of Isabella Street in Invercargill.
The improvement of the ageing pipe network is essential due to the continuously increasing population of Invercargill and urban development, and it is also beneficial for residents who will face challenges of climate change in the future.