On 1st September 2015, I started my two year stint at CQUniversity as the first international PhD student joining the “Co-Tutelle” program between CQUniversity and Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU). The time difference between Rockhampton and Chengdu is two hours, but I did not feel any because of constant communication with my three supervisors (Professor Shihui Luo, Professor Colin Cole and Associate Professor Maksym Spiryagin), the hospitality of local people and especially my friend Qing Wu, who has been my classmate for almost ten years.
As soon as I arrived in Rockhampton, my PhD research started. At my first PhD meeting with Colin, he told me, “Li, you’re going to be busy.” I said, “That’s the reason why I am here.” It didn’t take me long to get used to my new PhD life. I enjoyed meeting my new colleagues and sharing new jokes with them. I really enjoy my new office and my new ideas that I got when I stay there. Every Monday morning, I would meet with Colin to share what I had done the previous week and what I am going to do the following week. Comments and advice from Colin really matter. Though problems do arise, we move on step by step. My two posters were accepted by the Conference on Railway Excellence 2016 that I attended where I shared my ideas with other researchers in Melbourne.
‘Each step counts’
The exchange between Chinese and Australian culture is another goal for me. I am huge fan of tennis. And Rockhampton is famous for its tennis culture. Playing tennis with my new friends here is part of my daily life. I am really into the tranquillity of Rockhampton. I’ve met so many friends here that support one another.
My new life in Rockhampton is really like a word from my favourite producer, Jonathan Lee—“Each step counts.”