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Faculty member has big plans for small materials in first academic appointment

Portrait of Jian Lin

Jian “Javen” Lin began his first academic appointment as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering in August 2014. His research focuses on high-energy storage and transmission.

As an undergrad, Jian “Javen” Lin had every intention to go into industry after completing his doctorate. Instead, he discovered a passion for research and decided to continue in academia. In August, he began his appointment as an assistant professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Missouri College of Engineering.

“Most of my lab mates went into industry, but I started to be attracted by the fantasy of nano research, so I decided to look for post-docs,” Lin said.

Lin was most recently a post-doctoral researcher, a position he took in 2011 at Rice University in Houston. By that point, his studies already had been diverse. Lin’s bachelor’s degree at Zhejiang University was in manufacturing and design, but he shifted to materials science when he reached graduate school.

“It was there I got into semiconducting materials.” he said.

Lin earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering in 2010 and his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Riverside in 2011.

“In the first year when I was at Rice, I invented transparent and flexible memory devices unitizing glass materials, known as SiOx. During the second year of my post-doc, I switched my interest to renewable energy and worked on materials for energy applications,” he said.

Lin worked on high-powered lithium ion batteries, some of which could charge in less than 20 seconds and release a controlled amount of energy. Others were carbon-based microsupercapacitors, which employed carbon nanomaterials to store energy comparable to thin-film Lithium-ion batteries.

His research has been featured on the National Science Foundation, American Chemical Society and Air Force Research Laboratory websites, and has been reported in C&EN, Science Daily, Phys.org and Manufacturing Engineering Magazine.

The author of more than 25 peer-reviewed journal papers, Lin also holds five issued and/or pending international patents. This semester he is co-teaching a nanomaterials course with Professor Hao Li.