Chile, Life and environmental sciences, Student Stories

Looking towards sustainability and resilience in my PhD

July 30, 2020 - 3 min read

Hi, I’m Edward Cornwell, from Chile, South America. I am passionate about understanding how the natural landscape works and how people will manage responsible decision-making to thrive in the next decades.

I was part of several multidisciplinary research teams in my young career as a civil engineer and scientist. However, I felt that it was necessary to know and experiment with new ideas put in practice in places where innovation is the way of thinking. So, I decided to undertake my PhD project in Regional Sustainable Development at Deakin University, looking for a new direction towards renovated concepts like sustainability, resilience and multifunctionality. I knew this was only possible in a multidisciplinary environment of excellence.

Conducting fieldwork at Victoria’s alpine ranges.Conducting fieldwork at Victoria’s alpine ranges.

During my four-year journey, I discovered that studying and growing up at Deakin signified a life-changing experience to me. This was partly because of the amazing locations that exist in Melbourne, Victoria, and its welcoming, vibrant, and easy-going community. Apart from my studies, this city is enjoyable, bringing to you places like the long coastline, pristine natural reserves, truly rural towns and fancy neighbourhoods. Deakin is somehow connected to all these places, having several fully-equipped campuses across the state.

I was awarded the DUPRS (Deakin University Postgraduate Research Scholarship) and assignments via LES (School of Life and Environmental Sciences). These funds covered the fees, several research expenses (top international conferences and the chance to undertake fieldwork in rural Victoria), and living costs. This support gave me the necessary stability to conduct my studies without considerable setbacks apart from the events common to any investigation.

“I’m quite confident now of getting my dream job contributing to promoting knowledge transfer in water resources, creating a positive regional impact.”

The enrolment process was effortless thanks to the assistance of the Deakin staff before coming to Australia. The library also played a fundamental role during this time – I will never forget the kindness and technical resources available there. Resources like the scholars’ facilities, conference catalogue, formative workshops and seminars, cloud services and others simplified my daily tasks about tools management and career development. The infrastructure also surprised me, offering 24-hour access and world-class spaces provided for development, recreation and connection hubs embedded all over the city.

Indeed, coming back home after being part of Deakin places me in a privileged position thanks to its firm internationalisation directed to South America. I’m quite confident now of getting my dream job contributing to promoting knowledge transfer in water resources, creating a positive regional impact. I’m also pretty sure that my PhD project – focused on agricultural adaptation to climate change in mountain-valley systems – represents a new instance for mutual integration, in my case, between farmers and regional planners in two different South Pacific realities. Like me, you can also be part of this exciting adventure!

If you are interested in a research degree at Deakin, learn more here or email us for more information.

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