McKearn Fellowship Program 2015-2016

Research

This year, I have continued my research on the Pumped-Heat Electricity Storage (PHES) with the support of the Research Rookies Program. As a peer mentor in the program, I have had the privilege of mentoring first-year research rookies Ryan, Nickie, and Fahad in their journey through undergraduate research. It has been fun watching them grow through the program and helping them see the importance of research.

In terms of progress, I have finally completed a working model of the PHES with an analysis already conducted on its round-trip efficiency. Unfortunately, the analysis showed about a 67% efficiency rating which is actually what most articles have found in the small amount of research that has been done on it already. Currently, I am debating whether to continue on with this project to try and find a way to increase the efficiency rating or to transfer over to a different lab working under a different faculty mentor. For now, I will try out the different projects in the new lab, and if I don’t seem to be interested in them, I will stick with the PHES project.

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McKearn Fellowship Program 2015-2016

Mentoring

During my time in high school, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a FIRST Robotics Team. As part of our learning experience, the faculty sponsors were able to acquire the assistance of engineering professionals in the industry to come and mentor us through the robotics development process. One of those mentors, Mr. Ian Ren, was a software engineer working for Navistar. Having had his son go through the FIRST Robotics Team experience, he enjoyed mentoring us because he wanted us to develop the necessary skills to go out and do great things. I learned a lot about developing intuitive and efficient algorithms that would enable the robot to perform a variety of tasks. I also became aware of the fact that one should assume nothing works unless it has been tested multiple times. It was because of Mr. Ren’s careful guidance that I chose to major in Electrical & Computer Engineering where I can learn all about the electrical and software processes that are required for successful development of robots.

Thank you Mr. Ren for helping me get to where I am today. I hope to someday mentor students myself and provide them with the same great experience you provided me.

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McKearn Fellowship Program 2015-2016

Cultural Immersion

As an Asian American with a Chinese/Taiwanese background, I have had extensive immersion in the Chinese/Taiwanese culture. Since I was little, I went to Chinese School on the weekend to learn more about the Chinese language and culture. One of the best experiences I had in Chinese School was when I had the opportunity to participate in the annual dragon dance. This was a difficult dance to do because it involved an immense amount of coordination between the head and tail portions of the dragon. It took about a month of training to become ready to dance at the festival. As the person controlling the head, I got to “eat” all of the money that was given to me through the dragon’s mouth. It was a very rewarding experience for me, and I got to learn about the Dragon Dance Festival through real hands-on experience. I believe that it is important to learn about different cultures so that I can have information on how to interact with other professionals. We all come from different backgrounds, so it is inherent that we be culturally aware to prevent any misunderstandings or mistreatment of others.

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