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People of Lincoln Agritech

Ting Wu

Ting Wu

Research Scientist Ting Wu explains her journey to being a research scientist & what motivates her

When I was growing up I wanted to be an archaeologist, to study human history and prehistory.

I was very interested in history. When I was a kid I read heaps of history books. I also quite like watching documentaries, especially site excavations. I like the excitement of excavating sites and analysing artefacts to unfold what has happened before – it’s full of mystery. Also, I’m attracted to things that need to be analysed.

I think my current job fits that. Archaeology is a part of science. What I am doing is science technology development. They are both about using our knowledge and skills.

My job is about using my skill and knowledge to do research and development. For example, I am working on converting greenhouse gases into something useful to ease the impact of climate change.

When I explain my job to my family I usually say that I am a scientist who spends a lot of time in the lab and works with chemicals and various equipment to identify and solve problems. I also travel around the world for conferences and meetings to meet other researchers and share my research.

I have a great family. My parents and my cousin have supported me all the time. I feel super lucky to have them. Thanks to them, I got a chance to broaden my view, meet nice people and have a lot of opportunities that I have never thought I could.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Science is somehow mysterious. I enjoy that I can do practical work in the lab, using my knowledge and skill to help solve problems. The projects I am working with change and I get to challenge myself all the time. It always makes me feel very excited and proud when I have achieved something.

I also have many opportunities to travel around the world to visit different research organisations and meet cool researchers. It always blows my mind and excites me.

How did you get to have this job?

In 2020, I submitted my PhD thesis and worked as a postdoc at the University of Canterbury. I attended some workshops related to career development, so I wandered around online to see what was out there. Then I saw a research position available in Lincoln Agritech that was quite close to my research field.

Because Lincoln Agritech is an independent research organisation it offers opportunities for both pure research and commercialisation. I have a great passion to apply my research to the real world, so without any hesitation, I applied for the job and then I got it.

What motivates you?

I think my original motivation was to see the world. I was born in a little village in China in the 90s. I had a great curiosity about the world, so I decided to leave home and explore more. Also, I would like to make my family proud and have a good life. My passion keeps me going. I always feel I am so little, but my work could be huge and help many people if it gets progress. It excites me just thinking about it.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

If I could, I wish people could work together for making things better rather than fighting with each other. I hope there will be less barriers for knowledge and resource transformation.