Chris Kling

Chris Kling travelled from his home in Germany to study a Master of Engineering Management at the University of Auckland.

Chris Kling travelled from his home in Germany to study a Master of Engineering Management at the University of Auckland. Chris’ goal is to eventually do a PhD, so he was interested in attending a university that is renowned for its research focus. Chris had already visited New Zealand briefly years ago and knew it was somewhere he wanted to spend more time.

“I did a YMCA outdoor education camp where I was a volunteer in Australia, close to Sydney. I was already in Australia so I thought why not go to NZ. I came here, saw the landscape and saw the people and really felt this could be a place I want to stay for longer. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to go abroad during my undergrad, so I said ‘Why not do my whole masters abroad?’ There was a lot of preparation with scholarships and stuff like that but I finally made it. In the end it worked out and I'm really happy that I came here.”

Chris contacted an agency in Germany which helped him prepare for studying abroad, and suggested he come to the University of Auckland because of its respected reputation and internationally recognised research focus. Chris’ research focuses on the potential uses of biomethane in the transport sector, a niche area that he believed would be supported here.

“The idea actually came up because I'm really into nature. I love travelling, and in the past years I often hired a campervan and things like that, and I thought to myself; how can I make this technology greener - more sustainable, more environmentally friendly? That's how it came up that compressed natural gas might be a solution as fuel in a combustion engine.”

Chris also really appreciated the flexibility he was offered in his masters programme, which is allowing him to follow his interests in clean energy and pursue the research topic that brought him here in the first place. The Associate Dean of Postgraduate (Taught) Dr Garry Miller was Chris’ course advisor, and his willingness to help made Chris feel welcome.

“When I arrived here there were 7 or 8 electives I had to choose from. When I had a chat with Dr Miller - a really friendly guy - he said well if you don't like the courses as electives, or think you might like others more, you can choose an alternative. He was fine with that as long as the teachers and lecturers from the other courses approved.”

“That was really amazing. It was a real feeling that I am part of the university, that I am able to choose what I want to do, so I could go really into the fields I'm interested in. That really made a difference for me.”

The Master of Engineering Management aligns with Chris’ career goals too. Chris loves to teach, and was thankful for the opportunity to be a Graduate Teaching Assistant during his time here. However, Chris also wants to work in industry first so he can develop his own knowledge and ability before passing that knowledge to the next generation.

“I see myself as a professor in the future. I really love explaining things to others and giving knowledge to others,” Chris explains. “I also feel that in my own education experience, the teachers who had practical experience - like from industry - they were the ones who could tell me the best things and had the greatest influence on my learning.”

After completing his masters, the next step for Chris is to continue pursuing his interests in renewable fuels in the transport sector. He is already eyeing up plans to start a PhD while also seeing what a career in industry can offer him in the next few years.