Most important, the co-op program is a very unique program that I consider to be invaluable, Li says. His father works for UC, so they can take advantage of tuition remission, but must still pay other expenses. The cost of education is important to consider, but gaining experience through the co-op program is important especially for international students. Such opportunities dont come by easily.
Li also worked in the
UC Simulation Center
, a joint venture with P&G, where UC students work side by side with P&G engineers solving real design problems in a virtual world.
Working in the Simulation Center was a very good opportunity to do interesting work with people who do the technical work for P&G, Li says. It was a very positive experience for me.
He didnt always want to be an engineer.
When I was little, I didnt know what engineering was. I wanted to be a rocket scientist! he says, laughing. Then as he got older and more practical, he realized that his favorite teachers in school were his chemistry teachers and that his favorite subject was math. So I thought that chemical engineering would be a good fit.
Here at UC, he has worked closely with Assistant Professor Anastasios Angelopoulos, researching fuel cells.
Withrow High School Students Learn About Fuel Cells from Prof. Angelopoulos and Li Tan
Dr. Angelopoulos is a great professor, says Li. He places a very heavy emphasis on student growth so that they become great researchers, great writers and great thinkers. His teaching style is effective: he gives you enough information so that you can learn how to find the key. And he has very high ethical and moral standards.
Li appreciates the Chemical Engineering Department in UCs College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Its small enough that I know almost everybody. Its easy to get personal attention and not get lost, he says. I have a group of classmates who are smart, very intelligent.
He also points out that the staff in the Office of Professional Practice has been extremely helpful, especially in the last couple of years when the rough economy made it difficult to obtain co-op positions. They also helped me prepare a very strong application for graduate school, he adds.
The people in the International Student Office have also been amazingly helpful in ensuring that the international student experience is smooth, he adds.