Congenial Professor Called as “Doc”
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- Registration Date : 2014-11-19
Fossil fuels such as oil and coal are limited resources and the main reason for global warming with their greenhouse gas emission. Renewable energy engineering is the study of efficient usage of environmentally-friendly energy sources, including solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal and fuel cells.
At my lab, solar cells are the main study object. While the first generation silicon solar cells are the mainstream at the present, my team studies the second generation thin film silicon solar cells, or copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells to be exact.
That is why the objective of my lectures is on reconstructing the results of photovoltaic labs at the KIER based on the logical order, so that practical knowledge and know-how for the research filed can be delivered.
In this sense, my lectures are updated when new study results are released.
I think that is the biggest privilege for USTians. We have witnessed numerous accomplishments for the past 20 years in the thin-line solar cell area just from our photovoltaic lab.
I want the students to realize what history was made here and what role they need to take today in that regard through my lectures.
From my experience, professors have been uncomfortable and unapproachable. Even talkative students become silent during class. However, this kind of difficult relationship will hinder timely help, since students will never consult with professors unless things turn uncontrollable.
This clearly hurts both professors and students. Therefore, I try to make the atmosphere as comfortable as possible, as if a senior researcher from the lab teaches a junior researcher, rather than as a professor.
I can also share tricks that help experiments go smoothly, which are never found in books. One example would be ways to conduct experiments with smelling reagent as little as you can during nano-particle synthesis.
Using these strengths, you can tear down the barrier between students.
Once, one student approached me after worrying about a problem in his experiment for a long time. I helped him solve the issue instead of scolding him. Since then, he felt much closer to me.
This is my second year at the UST as a professor. It can be both short and long, but I’m already feeling the change in students’ attitude.
In my first semester, they were hesitant to talk to me, but now, they visit me for consultation willingly. In short, they are studying in a much more free atmosphere.
How they call me changed as well. The students don’t call me Professor anymore: just Doc now. It may seem trivial, but I like it because it shows they’re comfortable with me now. I think they have realized my sincere intention to find solutions through discussions as part of a team with the same goal, not as someone who just analyzes, examines and berates them.
I currently have four students: one Korean, two Pakistanis and one Bangladesh. People get frustrated when they experience difficulties, and the R&D field encounters a number of failures due to technical limitation.
Thus, I suggest them look far ahead rather than sticking to daily results. There can be only a few days in a year when you have a satisfying outcome, so I tell them to enjoy the process with a positive perspective.
I believe there is nothing more rewarding than watching your student officially being recognized as a scholar.
One female Pakistani student of mine gave a presentation at an international conference in her second year of the Master’s program. Watching her receiving applause with great achievement was particularly memorable for me.
I plan to keep on putting my best effort to help each student grow as an excellent researcher.