Student engineers his success through hard work and determination

14 September 2021

Chinese engineering graduate Shihao didn’t let pandemic stop him from enhancing his skills

A Chinese engineering graduate from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has seen his hard work pay off after going above and beyond his course requirements to stand out in his chosen field.

Shihao Fu was awarded a first-class degree in mechanical engineering last week and was handed the course’s Best Student Award for standing out as an excellent role model to his fellow international students.

The 21-year-old remained in Preston when lockdown was first announced in March 2020, instead of returning home to his hometown Nanjing City in East China. Despite the obvious challenges he faced isolating in a foreign country, Shihao embraced the situation to make significant progress in his studies and finished in the top five of his class.

He said: “The arrival of the pandemic gave me the opportunity to feel the beauty of nature in Preston. After online classes, taking a walk in Avenham Park became my daily routine and helped me to stay focused. The Japanese botanical garden in the Park also provides inspiration and materials for my photography.

"The arrival of the pandemic gave me the opportunity to feel the beauty of nature in Preston"

Mechanical engineering graduate Shihao Fu

“During my studies, I learned the whole set of principles and logic behind an industrial product, including classical physics such as fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and material. At the same time, engineering design allowed me to put what we learned into practice. I have made many models, analysed the principles behind them, made every detail accurate, and laid the foundation for personal projects in my final year.”

The dedicated engineer also undertook two industry placements when he returned to China in the summer of last year. One as a CAD engineer intern at the Jiangsu Institute of 3D Intelligent Manufacturing and another as a systems engineer intern in Guangzhou city.

Dr Andrew Fsadni, course leader for the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree, said: “Shihao has shown motivation, desire and passion for the mechanical engineering profession.

“He worked hard throughout his time at UCLan and his strong character helped him to overcome the difficulties associated with lockdown conditions. He is a fine example to any student, and we wish him well in the future.”

Shihao now plans to return to the UK to complete an MSc in Smart, Connected, and Autonomous Vehicles at the University of Warwick.