Daniel is a New Zealand Scholar from the Caribbean state Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He studied in the Master of Engineering programme at the University of Auckland.
“I feel extremely grateful to the government of New Zealand for giving me a New Zealand Development Scholarship. This opportunity provided me with the means to pursue postgraduate research at the prestigious University of Auckland.
The scholarship process caused me to reflect on my core values and vision for the development of my home country, and how my time in New Zealand would contribute to that vision.
“My specialisation is in Civil Engineering, focused on improving residential construction project resilience and productivity. This study area is mutually important to New Zealand and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) – the results may eventually contribute to the economic and social development of both multi-island states.
“SVG is classified as one of the top five most vulnerable countries in the world to natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides, rains and drought. New Zealand has been able to continuously build its resilience to similar natural hazards, but also faces challenges with improving resilience and productivity.”
“I think the academic and teaching staff at the University are great. The Engineering faculty has supervisors with extensive experience in both industry and academia. My supervisor Dr Garry Miller gave excellent guidance and support throughout the research process. He shared valuable lessons learned from his own research experience and always made time for face-to-face meetings to give high quality feedback. International Student Advisers Suriati Razman and Suhaila Sizali were also exceptional pillars of support.”
Campus life and beyond
“I joined the Squash Club, Data Science club and was a board member of the Post Graduate Student Association of the University of Auckland. I had fun meeting new people and learning from different cultures, and it was great to be able to interact with other students regularly.
“Within the next five years I aim to be a regional expert in sustainable housing, climate change resilience, comprehensive risk management and agile construction management. In the long term, I will establish myself as an international authority on the development of systems to improve the quality of the built environment.”