Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have been very interested in the sciences of chemistry since high school and chose applied chemistry as my major in college. During that period, I joined New Energy company as an intern student, where I became interested in the field of battery development and decided to devote myself to the development of a new kind of battery that has a much higher energy density. Though the knowledge I gained during my undergrad was good, I felt I need to get a higher degree to broaden my professional knowledge, improve my experimental skills and become a good researcher, which is the reason I decided to pursue a Ph.D. degree and chose lithium metal battery electrode material development as my research topic.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Firstly, UBC is one of the top universities worldwide and there is extensive research on carbon materials (fuel cell catalyst supports, microporous layers, etc.). In particular, the Wilkinson research group is uniquely positioned to use its expertise in the development of a variety of high surface area carbons (porous carbons, multi-modal carbons, mesoporous carbons, hollow-core carbons, etc.) for the development of Li-carbon composite anode electrodes. Prof. David Wilkinson was the previous group leader in chemistry and electrochemistry of Moli Energy (now called E-One Moli) and was part of the team that developed the world’s first commercial rechargeable lithium AA battery. In addition, Prof. David Wilkinson is also a very responsible supervisor. Lastly, I chose UBC because I like Vancouver. As one of the most livable cities in the world, I like the beautiful scenery, the beaches, the maple trees, and the sky here. I believe that studying and living in Vancouver will become one of the most precious experiences of my whole life!
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The most attractive thing about this program is my supervisor, David Wilkinson, I came here mainly because of the research team he leads. I admire his academic achievements, his extensive experience in battery development and I think he is of great help in improving my research skills. Also, he is a very responsible supervisor who always considers his students, it is a pleasure to have such an excellent and nice professor as a supervisor.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I am surprised by the beautiful scenery in Vancouver, I can see the sea and mountains even from the window of my office! I love to watch the sunset from the window and take a lot of pictures. I never came across this kind of view when I was in Beijing.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I think my education experience from my parents prepared me for my UBC graduate program. My dad always tells me to keep curiosity about things, keep a thirst for knowledge, and dare to explore new things. Because of that advice, I decided to go abroad, live a different lifestyle, and do a totally new project.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I love to watch comedies, modern family is my favorite. I love to buy some snacks, drinks and watch modern family on weekends. I also like to go for a walk to the beaches with my friends, especially on sunny days, as it is really enjoyable to sit on the beach, chatting with each other and watching the clouds in the sky.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
It is important to sharpen your skills in college, but we should keep in mind that study is only a part of life. Enjoy yourself beyond your research projects and courses, do not put too much pressure on yourself and develop your own hobbies. Enjoy the beautiful sceneries of Vancouver.