An image of Jianian Yong Can you tell us about yourself? 

 My name is Jianian Yong and I am currently a PhD student in Dr Pham's group. Before finishing master and starting a PhD at Imperial, I studied Mechanical Engineering, Material Science and Economics (Triple majors) at Purdue University. Besides my research, I am also fond of case cracking and business analysis. I am currently intern in McKinsey as a part time assistant to help with the sector researches. While taking part in management consulting, my analytical skills are strengthened since the glance of finance and business expands my sights into the primary and secondary market behind technology and researches.

 Can you provide a summary of your research? 

For the PhD, I am currently working on programmable latticed metamaterial. With the help of 3D printing, our group are able to fabricate latticed metamaterial with complex but crystalline-mimicked features, which are apparently one of the promising lightweight candidates. My work or expectation based on that, is to combine programmability with the latticed structure to achieve specific response to the change of the ambient environment. Such programmability can be achieved by Shape Memory Polymer or Alloy or Magnetic Powder that is been mixed inside the filament. Once the latticed structure is able to react with the external environment, the properties and the morphology will be changed without physical touch.

Why you chose to study at Imperial and has your experience been so far? 

The reason why I chose Imperial to start my postgraduate study rather than staying at United States is that Imperial locates in the most metropolitan city in the world - London. It is really hard to find a university which is prestigious in Engineering and located in a huge city at the same time, and fortunately, Imperial is one of the best options. Outside Imperial, it only takes you several minutes to get into the centre of the world, which allows you to harvest insights while attending conferences of development of smart city or the discussion of Brexit policies. Inside Imperial, it is quiet and peaceful enough to focus on research while still receiving support from all different resources.

What is the current highlight of your PhD?  

Since the lockdown interrupted my PhD, it is a really hard time for me as well as all of us. However, without experiment and lab work, I am able to spend more time drawing draft and do simulation for my design. It is also a good time for me to get a deep breath to retrospect what I have done so far and to plan what I should finished in the future from both academic and personal point of view.

What are your top tips for completing a PhD at Imperial?

 Since there is no deadline in a PhD study, time management and self motivation are two prioritised tips from my point of view. You will easily get lost if you forget about what you were aiming for at the time you were applying for a PhD. Endurance to the loneliness is another biggest part. Such loneliness includes but not limit to that come from the narrowness of the project while no one else can help you, and that come from your peers who already got a job while no certain career is prepared for you. My tip to overcome such loneliness is that find an emotional dependence other than academy. It could be a pet, an instrument or even a someone close to you.