I want to play a role in combating climate change for human beings.

Cheng-Yi Lee is a Ph.D. student in the Energy Efficiency and Heat Pump Consortium group at The Center for Environmental Energy Engineering. Prior to attending the University of Maryland for graduate school in 2019, Lee received his undergraduate degree and master’s degree from the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. 

“I want to play a role in combating climate change for human beings,” said Lee, who is expecting to graduate in 2023.

“When I was an undergraduate in 2008, there was an energy crisis caused by the financial crisis. At that time, I started to think about dedicating myself to the energy area to solve the energy crisis in the future,” said Lee. After studying hard, receiving excellent grades  and pursuing a master’s degree, Lee discovered he enjoyed research related to heat transfer and energy.  

After receiving a master’s degree, Lee worked in the industry for five years to gain experience. During this time he and his wife had their daughter and he considered settling down and continuing his work in the industry instead of pursuing his goal of going abroad to obtain a PhD. 

“I worked in a great company in Taiwan and thought maybe I would just settle down and give up the idea,” Lee said. “My wife could tell my hesitation and encouraged me to chase what I have wanted to do for a long time. Therefore, I came to the U.S.” 

Combating Climate Change at CEEE

Lee applied to University of Maryland and after having a virtual interview with Dr. Hwang, he found that his research interests aligned with CEEE. 

“I want to play a role in combating climate change for human beings,” said Lee, who is expecting to graduate in 2023.

Lee says that his favorite aspect of CEEE is the significant amount of cooperation with industry partners to conduct the research projects, made possible by the consortium meetings that are held twice a year to hear feedback from sponsors.

“Such communication channels are essential for a research center to be a pioneer in the research field and remain realistic for the actual application,” he said. 

Continued Pursuit of Research and Learning

After he graduates, Lee says that he would like to continue researching in the energy field, either within academia or in the industry. He would like his research to be specifically related to HVAC, heat transfer, energy conversion, or energy storage research. 

“The U.S. would be my first choice to stay because here is full of challenges and opportunities which inspires me with lots of ideas to investigate,” said Lee. “On top of that, talented people are everywhere, I enjoy working with people smarter than me and learning things from them.”

In his free time, Lee used to regularly play baseball and badminton and he was even a drummer in a band for 10 years. But now, ”I spend most of my time chasing my daughter at the playground,” Lee said