As we enter the new year, we’d like to introduce you to our International Team Leader, Keke Chen!
PhD Candidate, Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron
Keke became a SWE member in 2015 during her PhD study in Polymer Engineering in The University of Akron. She is active in Akron Global Polymer Outreach and K-12 Outreach. During the year of 2015 to 2016, she served as the president of Chinese Students and Scholars Association, and organized several major events for the Chinese community in Akron, including the annual new year party. She obtained a master degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Iowa State University, and later she worked as a Research Engineer for SABIC in Shanghai for two years. During her job in Shanghai, she volunteered as a business mentor for Junior Achievement with local high schools.
What is your degree program (MS/PhD, department)? When do you expect to graduate?
Current I am in my fourth year of pursuing a PhD degree in Polymer Engineering. I expect to graduate during the year of 2018.
Give a brief explanation of your research.
My research topic is to utilize and understand different processing techniques to process medical grade polymers for biomedical application. One part is the fundamental study of hydrogen bonding effect on materials properties during processing using a real-time birefringence characterization. Another focus of my research is to develop a continuous roll-to-roll process for electrospinning nanofiber membranes with post-fabrication surface functionalization using “click” chemistry to impart antimicrobial properties.
What do you want to do with your degree? What are your career goals?
I would like to continue the research of polymer materials/process development in the industry settings. My career goal is to use my expertise in polymer engineering to translate new idea and processing techniques into actual products and solutions. I am particularly intrigued by biotechnology and hope to have the opportunities to work in biomedical field with design and processing development.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love doing yoga, hiking and biking (when weather permits). I also spend a lot of time with food, cooking, researching, and writing my own blog about food (in Mandarin though, but you can look!).
What’s a fun fact about you?
I am a lot older than how I look. I have seen the Aurora Borealis. I have also been to 4 continents and 12 countries.