Interview series "Introducing People@BAM"
Dr.-Ing. Chun-Man Liao, Non-destructive Testing Methods for Civil Engineering Division
Chun, tell us a little bit about yourself. What did you do in "your life before BAM”?
Hi everybody, I am Chun, coming from Taiwan. Before BAM, I already have obtained bachelor’s and master’s degree at National Taiwan University (NTU). In between I was an exchange student at KIT, Germany for 1 semester. This abroad life makes me more independent and more open-minded about multiculturism. When back in Taiwan, I have been a research assistant for the project about house energy and a teaching assistant at the National Taiwan University (NTU) for application mechanics and structural mechanics/soil mechanics lab. As I got the DAAD scholarship, I began again my Germany journey in summer 2015 for my PhD study at TU Berlin. Last year, I got the postdoc position at BAM in the division of the non-destructive testing in civil engineering and newly began my career.
What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
I have studied civil engineering over 10 years. At the university, I got practice in a structural consultant company and had passion for high-rise building design. During the practice, I realized my knowledge about structural design in seismic engineering should be broaden by further study. Then, I started master study and put focus particularly on the dynamic analysis in structural engineering. Meanwhile, I picked up programming and modelling skills, which benefit me studying in science. As I worked on the PhD research, I found that to understand the unknown phenomena by every small step in the new fields makes the great accomplishment in science. For me, a scientist has the same responsibility as a civil engineer to ensure the security of people. Pursuing the career in science is another way to contribute to the life convenience.
What does your research focus on, and what excites you most about this topic?
The emphasis of my research is on non-destructive testing methods for civil engineering. It’s like a doctor work, I check the structures and assess their health condition. There are a lot of challenges in monitoring large-scale structures that are in operation. Considering very small-scale measurement, we need a comprehensive measure to overcome the difficulty in sensor installation for the better testing or reliable approaches to access the sufficient useful information of the large-scale structures for assessment. Such monitoring actions attract me very much.
What do you like to do when you’re not doing research?
I like painting and sport. In my free time, I enjoy the real color of the natural creatures and feel comfortable when I present them by watercolor with my imagination. Except drawing, my passion is doing sport. I was in the “Track and field” club for several years. My great record was in 2017, the BMW Berlin Marathon (whole distance: 42 km).
If you should describe your job at BAM in one sentence – what would that be?
Taking responsibility of civil safety.