Dr. Wang: I personally watch a little bit TV not very much and watch news, some sports. Let me elaborate a little bit on my personal understanding with regards to research a little bit. I talk to students sometimes I think I work very hard, my students know I work very hard and some students ask me Dr. Wang you never enjoy life. I say I enjoy a lot of life. I say it depends on your definition of life and I look at my work as enjoying life. The reason is because I believe in science, science is my religion and I do the best on science from my side and I enjoy the life. I use my science to influence the next generation of scientists, worldwide people invite me to give lectures, I meet very many different people, I travel to different places that’s kind of enjoying life because not only you see the beautiful scenery, you meet the outstanding people but at the same time you broaden your knowledge. So I tell my students, say you enjoy your life doing the things you enjoy the most, and your interest the most then you truly enjoy life and if you can create something for the world and then future generation can benefit from that, you are really doing something that’s extraordinary and then a lot of people will admire you for decades to come. So I tell them I do enjoy life and my life is science, my life is to do some creative work and that the future generation can benefit from.
Lisa Padilla: I love that perspective and also it goes along with the notion of enjoying the journey and not just the destination. I have always felt that way about education, I always was very, very excited to go to school when school started and meeting new people and learn and when I say that to my 12 year old, she looks at me like I am absolutely nuts. So I don’t know. I think she will see all things relative in not too long a time. Okay so let’s go back to another one of these questions that I happened to pass over. Has working in this field changed your research and development process? You say you love work and that’s because you are doing what you love and working hard at it because you love it. You know lots of stories that I read, lots of articles about biomimicry are sort of endearing because the origin of the story or the research was something like the woman looking at the abalone shells and thinking about how they generate this calcium 3000 times as strong right. It’s just inspiring to think that this woman is just like hanging out on the beach thinking about shells and how strong they are and to take that back into industry or into the lab, I just wonder for yourself has it changed your approach to your work.
Dr. Wang: Absolutely, absolutely because when we are lacking for ideas, we look into biology, how biology has been doing this for billions of years and evolve, continue to improve, that always gives us new ideas to do the things. I jog every morning, one thing I give to you is that when you jog under the trees sometimes you get this, there is a sutra from the spider, right.
Lisa Padilla: Yeah.
Dr. Wang: That’s a super material. The elasticity is extremely high that can elongate many, many times than its original length. It’s very tough too, and so far scientists are unable to make them artificially. So how come this little spider and this little insect make this little silky fibers so tough, so strong at room temperature, right. We talk about organic differences and this can give us inspirations if we can make this one and you make a rope, this rope can extend 50 times its original length, that’s super elasticity. So it does give me a lot of inspiration from watching daily life. More importantly I try to look at our research related to future need of humankind. Let me give you a few of our research relating to future of technology. We totally have five areas of research, the first areas is this nanogenerator, this converting mechanical energy into electricity, look out for energy need for small devices. The second research we do is solar energy, how can we develop a technology that efficiently harvests the solar energy for a larger scale energy need. So that’s the second project. The third project we do is bio-interfacing because a lot of things we do this nanogenerator, biosensor eventually has to be interfaced with biology, how is the compatibility one with the other one, can we end up with together so we look at bio compatibility, biological engineering this kind of process that’s another project. The fourth project we do is this biomimic, utilize bio process to fabricate photonic devices and photonic structured materials, this is another area. The last area we do is electronics. We utilize these nano materials to fabricate new electronic devices like new transistors, new diode and as we utilize piezoelectric effect so a field I created called piezotronics. Piezotronics utilize piezoelectric semiconducting copper properties to make new devices; that’s the fifth areas we are working on. Each of those areas, I have lot of dreams and I want to make useful, we can impact a lot of our area of applications so I am very excited about what we do and have a high hope for what we do.
3 Replies to “Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology (Podcast and Interview Transcript)”
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