Testimonial: Catherine Tatarniuk

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) – New Zealand Awardee (2011-2014)

University of Canterbury (Geotechnical Engineering, PhD)

I was residing in Christchurch, New Zealand during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, and as a graduate student, I had the opportunity to form part of a research team investigating infrastructure after the earthquakes. As a geotechnical engineer, this first-hand experience was priceless, and has helped fortify my knowledge in this area and shape my career.

My four years at the University of Canterbury (UC) in Christchurch were a life-changing experience, made possible through the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). I was grateful to receive the scholarship for three academic years. I first received the scholarship in 2011-2012 and it was then renewed in both 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

I chose UC because of the opportunity to complete a unique research project under the supervision of world-class academics. My research involved studying landslides in clay soil, and how they can be stabilised using Deep Soil Mixing (DSM), a technology that involves adding cement to soil in columns. I was drawn to this project because of the access to specialized field and laboratory equipment which were essential components for my research. My research challenged my abilities in several different facets of geotechnical engineering, and it has made me a more capable and confident geotechnical engineer.

At UC, I also gained valuable experience as a lecturer and teaching assistant, and an understanding of the geotechnical engineering curriculum in another country.

I made countless valuable professional connections and friendships during my studies, all the while having the opportunity to experience a beautiful and amazing country. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to complete a doctorate in New Zealand through the CSFP!