Graduate takes Mizzou Engineering's 'bridge to a higher level'

May 16, 2019

A man in glasses and a suit poses on a balcony.

Bohan Sun will mark a milestone on Saturday when he earns a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MU before seeking a doctorate at Johns Hopkins.

Mizzou Engineering seniors followed all kinds of paths to get to the same destination — Saturday’s commencement ceremony at Mizzou Arena. They come from a variety of backgrounds, have achieved success in different ways and have developed expertise in a multitude of areas.

Bohan Sun’s college journey, which began at Chonqing University in China, will mark a milestone on Saturday when he earns a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mizzou and will continue on as he seeks a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University.

The Mizzou chapter of his story began with finding the right fit. He wanted to continue his education in America and sought two years of undergraduate experience before graduate school. Chonqing and Mizzou have a partnership that allowed for just that, and the robust undergraduate research opportunities were a bonus.

“You get the opportunity to do your own research. That meant a lot to me,” Sun explained.

He came to Mizzou in 2017, and coincidentally, matched interests with the newly-hired Zheng Yan, whose research focuses on soft materials and biointegrated electronics. In the ensuing two years, Sun has had the opportunity to be a lead author on a journal publication and a co-author on two more, with the potential of two more to come.

Because he wanted to do research in America, Sun also sought out cultural opportunities, diving headfirst into a new language, culture and educational experience.

“In China, we have class units, and most of your activities are based around that class unit,” he explained. “Here, you can take different classes with a variety of different students and meet a lot of different people.”

Suffice it to say, he’s taken full advantage of the opportunity he sought when he chose to come to Mizzou.

“My home university laid a solid foundation in a lot of aspects. The skills I practiced helped with my future development,” Sun said. “Here, I used that knowledge and built on it to achieve even higher accomplishments.”

Sun’s next chapter leads to Baltimore, where he’ll begin working towards his PhD. In his journey toward becoming Dr. Sun, he’ll use the foundation he built at his first two stops to achieve his dream.

“Without my experience here, I wouldn’t be going to Johns Hopkins. Mizzou, to me, is the bridge that helped me reach a higher level,” Sun said.