Zhenqin Wang

Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering
Degree pursuing: PhD in energy, environmental & chemical engineering
Hometown: Changzhou, Jiangsu, China

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
Changzhou University in Jiangsu, China

Please provide your lab and description of research.
I am a doctoral student in the bioproduct engineering lab of Dr. Marcus Foston. Dr. Foston's research focuses on understanding the causes and effects of polymer and novel nanomaterials and designing the conversion processes that take advantage of biomass and plastic wastes into bioproducts and biofuels. My current projects focus on novel production of cellulose-recombinant protein nanocomposites and catalytic reductive depolymerization of lignin into bioproducts.

What played into your decision to get a graduate engineering degree?
I like to solve problems and learn new things to get a better understanding of the whole world. I think a graduate degree could even make me a better person. WashU brings me exactly what I want, especially in academic and professional opportunities.

Why did you pick WashU?
I like WashU because of its worldwide prominence. Most importantly, WashU has the only EECE program in the world, so you could choose any clusters that you are interested in. Therefore, you could always learn a lot of new things during your graduate degree.

What was your favorite course and why?
Transport Phenomena in Practice because I majored in chemical engineering in my bachelor's and master's degrees, and I think it's very important to an engineering student.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
Dr. Yinjie Tang. He pays a lot of attention to details and makes the course interesting and fun. He is also so nice to students — not just with grades, but with their future development.

What advice would you give to a new student?
Stay humble but ambitious. Don't be afraid to learn anything that is new to you. Not just for your graduate study, but also for your own life.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
The weather in St. Louis. I like winter the most and love the beautiful snow in St. Louis.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
Sumers Recreation Center. It has awesome facilities and a sports center.

What are your plans for the future?
Stay focused and locked in on my PhD research. I might apply for a postdoc fellowship to become an expert in my field of research study.