Energy Conversion Technologist | Sustainable Energy Champion | Researcher
Meet 31-year-old Jingyuan Xu from Germany, who is a research fellow at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Her research focuses on sustainable energy technologies to provide economical solutions in cooling, heating, and power. She is passionate about applying her knowledge and expertise to minimize global-primary energy use and reduce CO2 emissions. Jingyuan thinks the next breakthrough in the field of energy will be Controllable Nuclear Fusion. In her view, women in STEM boost team spirit and the diversity that comes with inclusivity produces better science.
Describe your STEAM projects/interests.
I am a research fellow at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. My research focuses on sustainable energy technologies aiming at providing technically and economically viable energy solutions for cooling, heating, and power. I am passionate about applying my knowledge and expertise to minimize global primary-energy use and to reduce CO2 emissions for a sustainable future.
What/Who inspired you to get into STEAM?
Energy conversion technology, an amazing and challenging field, is fully worthy of my lifelong pursuit. I found that the climate change continues to challenge energy solutions, and I fully realized that developing sustainable and carbon-neutral energy conversion technologies are therefore increasingly urgent. Since then, the strong interest in advanced energy conversion technologies stimulated my enthusiasm and motivated me to equip myself with knowledge to the greatest extent.
What are some advantages you think being a female brings to the STEAM field?
In my view, a female brings a lot of advantages to the STEM field. For one aspect, in all facets of STEM, we need to cultivate environments that are more inclusive and diverse. Team spirit is boosted when there is a gender mix of females and males. For another aspect, diversity makes science better. Gender diversity may broaden the viewpoints, questions, and areas explored by researchers, allowing greater potential for new discoveries.
What would you tell young girls who are interested in STEAM, but too intimidated or discouraged to pursue it?
Just follow your heart and be yourself! I understand there are fewer females than males in STEM, but that doesn’t mean females are not suitable in these fields. The number of females in science is currently increasing, and I met with a lot of excellent female researchers who makes significant breakthroughs in science. Enthusiasm, insistence and great efforts are the crucial factors that will make you succeed, rather than which gender you are. If you are interested in science, only you need to do is to insist your dream and go for it!
What do you think is most exciting about the future of STEAM, and is there a specific advancement you’d like to see happen?
To be honest, I am not sure about what will be the next great breakthrough in science because there are so many hot topics and interesting areas in physics: medical physics, quantum computing, neural engineering, nanotechnology, dark matter and so on. I will keep following the development of potential breakthroughs, and expect the big benefits to the world. In the field of energy, I think Controllable Nuclear Fusion might be the next promising breakthrough.
Who’s your favorite female icon and why?
The Chinese philosopher, Confucian Analects said ‘When three are walking together, I am sure to find teachers among them.’ I believe every female have her own strengths that are worth to learn from. In fact, I am a lucky person because I have met with a lot of inspiring female icons: my mother inspires me to be a kind person, my female research supervisor at University of Cambridge taught me to engage fascinating scientific research, and my female colleagues inspire me to be a motivated person.