By Jayna Miller
At the University of Connecticut, Chemical Engineering graduate students enjoy access to an outstanding combination of academic excellence, student resources, financial support, and a vibrant community.
For grad student Yixin Liu, this is especially true. “I really appreciate that the program gave me so many opportunities to attend different conferences to present my work and communicate with others, such as AIChE annual meeting every year,” she says. She also enjoys the setting of UConn’s campus – which is very different from her hometown.
Yixin moved to Connecticut in 2010 after completing her undergraduate education at Zhejiang University, which is near the east seacoast of China. UConn was her first offer, and after admiring the respected graduate program and the helpful financial support she would receive, she decided to choose UConn to complete her Ph.D.
During her time at UConn, Yixin has worked with Dr. Yu Lei on the development of a high temperature gas sensor which will improve combustion efficiency.
“Real-time, in-situ monitoring and control of combustion-related gases are a top priority in many industrial applications, such as power plant, automotive, metal processing and casting, chemical and petrochemical industries,” she says. These high temperature gas sensors are designed to monitor gas concentrations after combustion and to optimize the combustion process via feedback system, which can improve the combustion efficiency, save more energy, and also reduce the emission of pollutants.
“Our goal is to develop sensors which can be operated right after combustion, so we can immediately get the full picture of combustion conditions and provide more precise control of combustion,” Yixin says.
Yixin’s work on this research throughout her graduate career has been publicly recognized. She has published 10 papers in various scientific journals, four of which she was the lead author. Following her graduation this fall, Yixin plans to work in industry, preferably at a large company. She would especially enjoy continuing her research in a practical, applied setting.