Yuhang Chen is a graduate of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and the Honors College of the University of Macau (UM). With his research on the assessment framework for storm surge hazards in Macau, he enhances the effectiveness of disaster prevention, emergency management, and urban planning in Macau. For this achievement, he won the “Dean’s Final Year Project List Award”. His project proposed several evaluation index, which includes hazard index, social vulnerability index, and disaster resilience index. Based on the collected social data, it can evaluate the vulnerability of various regions to storm surges, and incorporated numerical simulation to estimate the hazard level and comprehensive risk level under the conditions of rising sea levels and strong typhoons. He felt encouraged by winning the award and hopes that his research can make a substantial contribution to the development and social progress of Macau, allowing people to live in this city more safely and comfortably.
A Good Learning Atmosphere
Chen comes from Sichuan province. Influenced by his mother’s work from a young age, he has a strong interest and passion for civil engineering. The international perspective advocated by the University of Macau, the residential college system and beautiful campus environment, as well as the unique all-English teaching environment deeply attracted Chen. Therefore, he chose the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Macau. Looking back on the four years in UM, Chen shared that although the professional courses of CEE are heavy and challenging, they are practical and closely connected with the current market situation. In addition, the department has a good learning atmosphere, and all students have a strong team spirit. Chen’s most unforgettable experience was cooperating with his classmates in the form of a small group to design a skyscraper in a structural engineering course. From the use of concrete to door and window design, they brainstormed and worked together towards a common goal and finally completed the project overnight. In addition to gaining a lot of valuable knowledge, this experiences also become beautiful memories to his learning journey.
Regarding the most profound challenges during his university journey, Chen said that the standardized teaching in secondary school rarely leaves space for thinking and discussion, and students are in a more passive state. Unlike the passive mode of acquiring knowledge, universities emphasize independent learning, critical thinking, and creative thinking. Through self-study, reading related academic reference books in the library, discussing with senior students and consulting professors, Chen gradually developed his own way of self-study and problem-solving. He took his graduation project as an example and combined what he had learned in the past four years, using different methods to obtain, statistically analyze, and process data, and proficiently using different software to analyze data. He is very grateful for the help and guidance given by his mentor, Professor Huabin Shi, throughout the whole process, and finally successfully researched and developed an evaluation framework to estimate the hazard level and comprehensive risk level of storm surge disasters in Macau.
Pursuing a Master’s Degree to continue his dream
Determined to continue his studies, Chen received offers from several universities, such as the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the National University of Singapore, the University of Edinburgh, and Imperial College London. After considering his goals and interests, he decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Maritime Technology and Management at the National University of Singapore. To embark on a new journey, he is grateful for the guidance of CEE professors, and advise to his juniors to cherish their university time, prioritize their learning tasks, regularly review and consolidate what they have learned, and work hard to pursue their dreams.