Junbo Chen, '12

Home: Shenzhen, China
Year of Graduation: 2012

Why did I choose to attend WPI?
Low faculty-student ratio, helpful faculty members, small campus, feeling like home.

How has WPI's philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, been beneficial to me during my time at WPI?
Many classes that I have taken require us to fully take advantages of teamwork. In a team project, I learned how to communicate and contribute with teammates, and thus develop friendship/professional networks as well.

What do I think are WPI's greatest strengths?
WPI's focus on undergraduate education has made me an engineer with innovation, team spirit, and compassion. And the vast resources I get from helpful faculty members are invaluable to both my career and life.

How have the professors in the Chemical Engineering Department at WPI impacted my studies and my life?
My research experience with Professor Deskins developed after taking his class. He is enthusiastic about his research as well as academic courses. He offers extra help whenever he is in the office. I got to know Professor Deskins outside of his office hours and learned about the research he's been working on. Later, after my success in his class, he invited me to be a part of his research group.

Research projects I am involved with at WPI:    
This is the thesis of my current research project: "Stability Analysis of Zeolite LTA after Site Substitution of Varies Cation." My supervisor is N. Aaron Deskins.

Zeolites have been widely applied in the industry of commercial absorptions: water purification, catalysis, and nuclear reprocessing. These aluminosilicate minerals possess microporous structures, which buttress mechanisms such as filtration and ion exchange. While hundreds of zeolites have been discovered and synthesized, zeolite LTA (Linde Type A) has a unique super-cage structure due to its three different-sized pores on the surface area. One of the objectives of this research is to determine the change in lattice energy when substituting the pure Si-O composition to Na+/Al3+, K+/Al3+, H+/Al3+, Ca+/Al3+, in Si/Al ratio of ∞, 23, 3, and 1. Via density functional theory, computational simulations are made with software CP2K. The measurements of each pore size are calculated to determine the limit of LTA’s capacity in varies ion exchanges. Due to three different-sized pores, the position of those substituted cations in each pore also becomes relevant to the stability of substitutions. Therefore, another objective of this research is to determine the most stable, i.e., lowest, in lattice energy, positioning, and sites for varies cations substitution.

What do I hope to do when I graduate? What would be my ideal job?
I hope to extend my research beyond a bachelor’s degree and pursue a PhD for further research opportunities in chemical engineering.

Groups or extracurricular activities I participate in at WPI:

  • AIChE
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Backpacking
  • Cycling
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Kayaking
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