YunliYunlu Jia is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate who is currently working on her dissertation and plans to graduate this summer. She received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Beijing Institute of Technology and her M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Utah. She’s a “Chemical Engineer all the way.”   Both of her parents are teachers in China.  She grew up enamored by math and science disciplines with a particular interest in chemistry.  As a very hands-on person, the natural application for her love of chemistry was Chemical Engineering.   Dr. Mikhail Skilar recruited Yunlu Jia, fresh out of her M.S. program, to join his research group. She is working on developing an innovative ultrasound method for measuring spatial distribution of temperature inside solid materials. The largely non-invasive approach can be used to measure temperature profile across containments of extreme environments, including those encountered during gasification and combustion, for an extended period of time, and to estimate the corresponding heat fluxes. She has developed and tested a robust, accurate ultrasound temperature measurment system for direct and real-time temperature monitoring under pilot-scale operating conditions.  The process promises to result in the potential for process improvement, cost reduction, and higher efficiency. When Yunlu started her PhD program, this approach was simply an idea; but, over the course of three years, she has built this novel system from theory and put it into practice. Also she has had the opportunity to incorporate other fields of engineering into her project, such as computer science, by developing code for powerful, accurate signal processing. Knowing the profound impact that energy-related issues has on the future of humanity, Yunlu would like to continue in energy-related R&D in her professional career. When she is not busy in the laboratory, she enjoys traveling and has a goal to visit every national park in the United States with her husband. Yunlu was awarded “Best Paper” at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting.

Yunlu’s advice for new and future Ph.D. students is“Have a vision of what you want to do, not just in graduate school, but long after. This will help you choose the project that is right for you during your Ph.D. program, and to have no regrets.”