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Nan Zhang

PhD student
- 2013 batch

I am a PhD student working on specialty fiber based optofluidic devices, including optofluidic fiber sensors and fiber lasers.

CINTRA provides great opportunities and support to my research. Under valuable help from CINTRA and my supervisors, Prof Lei Wei and Prof Perry Ping Shum, I was honoured to join Merlion PhD programme issued by the French embassy in Singapore and had a great research and life experience in XLIM Research Institute, Limoges, France. During my visit in XLIM, which was hosted by Dr Georges Humbert, I learnt how to design and fabricate photonic crystal fibers with novel structures. Finally, I succeeded to fabricate my new design of side-channel photonic crystal fibers, and brought the samples back and applied them to a series of optofluidic sensing applications in CINTRA lab. I really enjoyed my experience in CINTRA and XLIM. I have had lots of new friends and got new views on research.

David Peyrot 
Intern - July to December 2013

The 6 months-internship I spent at CINTRA for my last year of engineering school was an amazing experience. Based in the campus of NTU and benefiting from the outstanding facilities and equipment of the university,  under the supervision of Prof Wang Hong, I also had the opportunity to collaborate with other group within NTU or even in NUS where I was allowed to use their own Transmission Electron Microscope.
I benefited for the constant support of my supervisor during all my internship through emails and also face to face meetings, his advice were precious to me.
I had the chance to work in close collaboration with foreign researchers such as Ye Gang, chinese PhD student and many other foreign scientists that really made that internship a very nice international experience. Singapore is a multicultural city-state, a melting pot of Chinese, Malay,Indian people and many others that made my stay here a real chance to immerse myself into cultures quite unknown to me so far. Moreover, due to the central location of Singapore in South-east Asia, I also had the opportunity to spend many week ends abroad in Malaysia or Indonesia for example.
In addition, CINTRA being a laboratory working in close collaboration with France (particularly through the CNRS and Thales), there were many other French interns or PhD students in the lab, each one having his own cubicle, that made feel like home sometimes. The working atmosphere was excellent and we often went out with other people from the lab on week ends , for dinner, cinema , etc....
Mathieu Bergon
Intern - April to September 2012

My internship in CINTRA went very smoothly. I found it very interesting from a scientific point of view. I was really free to try my own ideas and the equipment available in NTU and EEE (Electronic and Electrical Engineering) offers many opportunities.   

CINTRA is a stimulating place to work and a convivial environment where it is easy to share and discuss with other interns, PhD or Post-Doc. There is globally a good ambiance which is very pleasant and informal meetings are regularly organized between the different teams in order to increase the cooperation inside the laboratory.

I would recommend CINTRA for an internship as it is a very good place to work about promising technologies (carbon based materials, III-V materials, etc.). Moreover, the international aspect is usually a great advantage if you think about an international career, and especially in Asia. Singapore is a great place to discover Asian culture and visit other surrounding countries.

I would like to highlight the fact that living in Singapore is very easy and not complicated at all. You can count on your colleagues to help you during the first few days while you look for a flat. The owners usually do not require as many papers as they do in Europe, so you do not need to worry too much about it.
I did enjoy my time in Singapore, both during working hours and during the weekends. I learnt about CINTRA thanks to a PhD candidate who sent the internship offers to my school and I do not regret at all my decision. I took the opportunity and nowadays seriously think about looking for a job here. 

Agnès Messanvi
Intern - March to September 2012

Overall, my 6-month internship at CINTRA was a great learning experience. I had the opportunity to work on a hot research topic (Gallium Nitride nanowires). I gained some experience in microfabrication techniques and in the use of characterization tools. I appreciated the fact that we could use the equipment of NTU clean room facilities and be trained on any machine we needed for our experiments. In my case, I learned how to operate a Low Pressure CVD system, use a Scanning Electron Microscope and perform photoluminescence measurements. This internship helped me to improve my written and spoken English as I was immersed in an international environment. I also discovered a new culture and broaden my horizon through short travels around south-east Asia.

In my opinion, the work environment at CINTRA is conducive to learning. Each student owns a personal cubicle with a computer. CINTRA offices are recent with an open environment that facilitates the communication between interns and PhD students. Research wise, we have access to the NTU library and their electronic resources as well. As I said earlier, we are granted access to the different laboratories of EEE School. We are also allowed to conduct experiments in their clean rooms which are very well equipped.
I found my accommodation thanks to a friend of mine who knew people in Singapore. For the interns who do not know anyone in Singapore I would recommend searching a room via the easyrommate website.


Michal Kuczkowski
Intern - March to September 2012

I think the stay on the Placement of CINTRA was really a developing. Contact with a new group of people, which important international group, made ​​it possible not only to improve the ability ofcommunication in a foreign language, but also to get to know other customs, methods and techniques that prevail in the laboratory. It is for me a very interesting experience pushingtoward a distant world and see the wider possibilities than are given to us at your fingertipsbecause they can often prove to be a much better choice.

The conditions are very favorable to study students. The university was equipped well stockedlibrary and a very extensive Internet network which also give for us access to an electronic version of books and publications. The university has also a lot of places for study in whomalmost always you can meet working students. As the mind is not all it is also a great area equipped sports center where everyone can find something for himself and will certainly joinbands practicing regularly improving its condition.

Accommodation in Singapore found on website. Before choosing a place of residence you should check as it is far and what are the possibilities to get to the university. You should also ask for assistance from other students from CINTRA because they may know about aspare room in an interesting location.

Christophe Brun 
Intern - March to July 2010

I’m doing my PhD both in France and Singapore. Every time I come to Singapore for my work, it’s a pleasure to find again the ambiance of CINTRA. All people here are young and ambitious to success in their work, we all like sciences, that’s why working together becomes a rich experience. Moreover, most of them have taken Singapore as their new home for a while, so like a normal day at CINTRA, we learn to work and progress with people from all other the world, it’s in big part of understanding how the different culture works and thinks. In summary, CINTRA has opened me the Asia part of the world.

Dr Meng Nan 
Research Fellow - April 2011 to June 2012 

You can achieve the balance between work and life in CINTRA. Here the people are warm hearted and eager to give help. In the highly dynamical research community, many research projects are conducted by the competent professors and their intelligent students with great success. It is my great pleasure to join CINTRA as post doc researcher and participate in the daily life here. As a plus, the food served in the campus is very delicious.

Dr. Heinrich Diesinger 
Senior Researcher - September 2010 to august 2012 

Since September 2010 I am affiliated to CINTRA research NWTech where I develop on-chip terahertz spectroscopy in frequency domain. I appreciate the vast variety of competences brought by researchers from different French and Singaporean labs assigned to CINTRA. The extra effort needed for starting new projects is overcompensated by the available expertise and the additional freedom of choosing future equipments myself. Singapore is despite its extreme population density a pleasant city that maintains a balance between modern architecture and infrastructure, parks and nature reserves and is conveniently located in reach of many southeast Asian destinations. I'm happy to work in this largely international environment for two years and strongly recommend it to others who consider working abroad for some time.

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