Research Education and Outreach
Energy, water and environment change are major societal concerns. The ongoing projects in our group aim to enhance education on these topics by disseminating the results of the research to a broad range of audiences. In the past years, we have created a variety of outreach activities to engage the graduate, undergraduate, and high school students as well as the general public into our research. Below list some of our outreach activities and snapshots taken from some of the events.

(1) Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.  Mentoring graduate and undergraduate students is a top priority in our group. Through participation in the research work, students receive broad training in chemical engineering and materials science, which prepares them to address challenges problems in these fields. The education in our group will position students for success in the next stage of their career development. Our research group has mentored more than 40 undergraduate students, graduate students, and visiting scientists.

(2) Hosting high school interns.  To expand knowledge of scientific principles and thrill of scientific discovery in chemical engineering and materials science to K-12 students, our research lab has teamed with organizations at the UMD and local schools in State of Maryland to provide high school students internship opportunities. So far, we have hosted 8 high school interns from 6 different high schools (John F. Kennedy High School, Glenelg High School, Zadok Magruder High School, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Thomas Wootton High School, and DeMatha Catholic High School, respectively).    

(3) Demonstrating research to under-represented Students.  By teaming with Women in Engineering (WIE) Program and the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering at UMD, our group has demonstrated the research to students from groups under-represented in engineering.  For example, the Developing Revolutionary Engineers And Mentors (DREAM) conference is held annually by WIE for high school girls and their teachers and parents. The DREAM conference involves a series of workshops, forums, demonstrations, and discussions that will ignite students’ interests in engineering. Dr. Liu has served on the panel “DREAM Jobs” in one of the conference sessions to share her job experience in chemical engineering to women students. Our lab has offered demonstration of engineering topics on energy, catalysis and materials synthesis.

(4) Bringing research to broader community.  To raise the general public’s attention on potential challenges in energy, water and environment, and to foster research interests in these topics, our catalysis and materials synthesis group has been actively participating in public events. We have made presentations and hosted research facility tours on the University of Maryland’s Annual Maryland Day. Tens of thousands of prospective students, parents, alumni and special guests are on campus that day.  We also organized the one-day “Zeolite Technology for Adsorption and Catalysis” workshop for Nano-Science Outreach Event in Science and Technology Series held in UMD and run by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth’s Family Academic Programs. Through the specially designed workshop and presentations in these outreach events, we showcase our exciting research work to large audiences and help to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers in the chemical engineering/materials science  disciplines.

Snapshots of some of our outreach activities
(1) Presentation and research facility tour on UMD’s Maryland Day

(2) “Zeolite Technology for Adsorption and Catalysis” workshop