Civil & Environmental Engineering (PhD)Kanzis Mattu

Kanzis is currently studying a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering. We find out what led her to her chosen area of research and what she thinks of Strathclyde.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am originally from Glasgow but spent a large chunk of my childhood growing up in Florida where I discovered my love of extreme weather which eventually led to me pursuing a degree in geography, a Masters in applied meteorology, and a PhD looking at extreme weather events and their impacts. A true geographer, I upcycle clothes and have been featured on social media outlets such as BBC: The Social. I am also a devoted dog mum and currently serve as the wellbeing officer for the Strathclyde Warriors cheerleading team.

Why did you choose Strathclyde for your postgraduate research study?

After completing my MSc down south I was keen to complete my PhD studies closer to home. I was delighted when a PhD opportunity came up at Strathclyde as it meant I didn’t have to relocate, and I was able to work in an area that I was passionate about.

Tell us about the nature of your research?

My research is focused on multivariate compound cold events (MCCE) in the United Kingdom. My work so far has looked at characterising MCCE in the UK into cold-dry and cold-wet events and seeks to identify the drivers behind these events by using weather patterns. My current work looks at the impact of MCCE on the rail sector in Scotland, and in future will explore how the findings can be used in impact-based forecasting systems.

What do you like about your research area?

I like the idea that the research that I do can be put into practice and can one day help inform operational procedures. I’ve always wanted to do something meaningful that will make a difference and this research gives me the opportunity to do just that.

What’s the Strathclyde research community like?

The research community within CEE is diverse and multidisciplinary. Everyone has their own unique project, but we also have research groups for similar topics. I have been a member of the Engineering for Extremes and Atmospheric Interests Research groups.

It’s great to have a supportive research community as doing a PhD can be challenging at times. Having peers who can relate to what you’re going through is so important.

What are the Strathclyde facilities like?

One of my favourite facilities at Strathclyde is the gym. I love being able to take a break from my research to go for a swim, to a yoga class or to cheerleading practice. Another great facility is the student’s union. The union offers somewhere to get coffee, food, training sessions and study spaces. It’s a place I often go.

Tell us about the support from your supervisor and the wider Strathclyde team?

I have a wonderful supervisory team comprised of Dr Chris White and two external supervisors at Newcastle University and the Met Office. My supervisors have been continuously supportive throughout my PhD studies and have helped me develop as a researcher. Everyone within CEE (Civil & Environmental Engineering) is friendly and helpful, it’s a great department to be a part of.

What's the best thing about Strathclyde?

I love that Strathclyde offers me so much more than just academics. Outside of my research I am proud to be part of the university’s cheerleading club Strathclyde Warriors. Being the well-being officer for the club has given me an opportunity to develop my transferrable skills from dealing with sensitive situations, providing resources, planning well-being training with external bodies and managing committee relationships. I would highly recommend being involved with a sports club or society alongside PGR studies.

What would you like to do after your PhD?

I am currently undecided on what I would like to do after my PhD. I am open to staying in academia or moving to industry depending on what opportunities are available at the time.

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PhD & Postgraduate Research Degrees