Carolina Montoya-Pachongo

Carolina Montoya-Pachongo

Why did you choose to study for a PhD at the University of Leeds?

I worked for 5 years in water supply research at the Universidad del Valle in the city of Cali (Colombia). From this experience, I decided that my career must be oriented on teaching and research. Therefore, undertaking a PhD was the next step to achieve this goal and the University of Leeds was a good option because of the modelling competence of research staff, the availability of wide information about research groups, and the willingness of my current tutors to supervise my research project.

Tell us about your research

 My research project is about the impact of the presence of biofilms and improving prediction of disinfection by-products formation in drinking water distribution systems by modelling total trihalomethanes formation from the reaction between chlorine and biofilms attached to the walls pipes for drinking water distribution.

What is your favourite part of studying at Leeds?

The best aspects of the experience at the University of Leeds are related to the opportunity to improve a foreign language, to learn about British culture, meeting people from around the world, and developing several skills as an engineer and independent researcher.

What activities do you take part in outside of your studies?

Currently, I am the PGR representative in the School of Civil Engineering. This role has allowed me to have a closer relationship with my colleagues in this School and to get involved with other members of staff. Being the PGR representative is also a good opportunity to develop other social skills in an academic environment. I also enjoy exercising, hanging out with friends on weekends, and going on trips around the UK.

What are your ambitions for the future?

After I finish my PhD, I am going to continue developing my career on research and teaching. I'm also considering working in an international cooperation to share knowledge and experience about water supply which benefits developing countries.

Your advice to prospective students?

Undertaking a research degree requires self discipline and commitment but the reward is incomparable. Besides, it is a great experience to develop my personal life and professional career because it is an unique opportunity to make good friends around the world and create useful networks.