I was born in a small town in China and grew up there. Later I moved to Harbin, a cold city located in the northeast part of China, for a undergraduate program in engineering offered by Harbin Engineering University (HEU). The education I received there helped me build a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, and engineering, which turns to be invaluable for my future study and research.
Just one month after the beginning of my study in HEU, I was selected into the Chengeng class, which is named after the first university president and aimed to provide a reinforced training in fundamental science for students who are ambitious and also qualified. After ‘suffering’ for three semesters (:P), I finished the training as one of the top-5 students and continued my program in the department of Automation.
As a student in Worcester Polytechnic Institute, I lived in Worcester (M.A.) for about 2 years. It is a quiet and beautiful place. Meanwhile, it is just one-hour-drive away form the busy modern city Boston. It is the first place I have ever lived in outside China and I love it.
During my stay there, I finished my Master of Science program in the Mechanical Engineering department. Besides taking courses, I also did research projects with Prof. Zhikun Hou on structural health monitoring (SHM) and artificial immune system (AIS). To support my life and study in Worcester, I worked as a teaching assistant for the course named Engineering Experimentation, helping Mr. Christopher Scarpino and Prof. John Hall in preparing instruments, guiding students through experiments, holding office hours, and grading homework and exams.
After finishing my study in the America, I decided to move to Toronto for the Ph.D. program offered by the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering department of University of Toronto. It is a great honor for me to study under the supervision of Prof. Eric Diller. My research focuses on magnetic microrobotics. In English, I design, fabricate, and characterize small (< 1 mm) devices that are actuated and controlled by the applied magnetic field. These devices are made of soft polymers and their bodies are extremely flexible. I embed magnetic particles into their bodies and then apply a magnetic field to exert torques and forces to move and/or deform them. There are countless possibilities of what these devices can do. For example, I have published papers on a micro-swimmer and a micro-gripper, whose names give a good idea of what they can do.
My trip to Hamburg, Germany, turns out to be interesting and also helpful for my profession. I presented my research about the magnetic micro-swimmer in the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2015, and received many inspiring questions and comments from other researchers in microrobotics. In addition, I had the chance to meet people in the same area from other universities and companies, including several prestigious world-known figures.