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Integrated Innovation for the Future-Interview with Professor Yang Zaiyue of Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering

About Professor Yang Zaiyue:

Professor Yang obtained his bachelor degree and master degree at Department of Automation at University of Science and Technology of China in 2001 and 2004 and received his doctor degree at Department of Mechanical Engineering of The University of Hong Kong in 2008. He used to be professor at College of Control Science Engineering of Zhenjiang University, recipient of Distinguished Youth Fund in Natural Science of Zhejiang Province, director of dozens of key and horizontal research projects such as those in 973 Program, 863 Program and National Natural Science Fund. He currently has been a member of editorial board of IEEE Trans. Industrial Informatics and of Special Committee for Intelligent Grid of IEEE IES Association. His research fields are intelligent grid, automatic control, signal processing and analysis with his research achievements presented in nearly 100 papers.

 
Our interview began at Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering on the afternoon of May 3rd. Like many other young professors at SUSTech. Professor Yang was humorous and erudite. He shared with us not only his experiences in scientific researches but also his ideas about students’ future and their career plans
 

 Advantages and Disadvantages of The Department

It is universally acknowledged that in most universities nationwide, mechanical engineering departments have been established and have been well developed over time, while ours is young and new. Our students have been showing concerns for its advantages and disadvantages. Professor Yang considers that our advantages are in our most advanced research directions and fields with high standards. Our professors are far-sighted in deciding on research orientations, while the mechanical engineering departments in many traditional universities have not extended their research fields for some historical reasons; the disadvantages are that we are small in scale and need a comprehensive disciplinary system which has been established in mechanical engineering departments in other universities to promote our new researches so that we gain more advantages in national academic assessments.

It is clear that our department is more innovative than tradition despite the fact that we have not so many resources as those in other universities. After all, we are in progress and more notable achievements will be in sight soon.


 

 Views on Mechanical Engineering

Professor Yang tells us that he just share with us his general views on machine since it is not his field in the beginning.“ Machine seems to be literally known to us just like electronics, yet we have not realized its progress and extension. Mechanical engineering in our time has been beyond its own scope and has been open to other fields such as robotics, 3D printing, and new materials. It is also fed with more new technologies in artificial intelligence, big data and those related to them. This field has been growing more inter-disciplinary inevitably, because progress in a single field will not be achieved without technical support from others. That is why innovative integration must be a mainstream in the future.


 

 What Is Intelligent Grid?

Professor Yang also explains to us intelligent grid of which many students have no idea. “Intelligent grid is a technology to predict changes in supply of and demand for electricity with relevant information collected. On the basis of the prediction results, we optimize electricity distribution, ensure efficiency and stability and achieve the balance between the supply and the demand, although this is a challenge. The intelligent grid is also helpful to capture great fluctuations in electricity generation and consumption which are caused by new pieces of electricity-consuming equipment (such as electric vehicles) and utilization of renewable energy resources ( such as wind and light).  Additionally In this process, what we consider are not only how to store electricity and how to maintain the electricity balance between power plants and users but also how to design the intelligent grid according to principle of electrical system and make it more economically and beneficially.”


 

Study Further or Start Careers

Many our undergraduates and prospective students are almost in dilemma between study further and start careers in their future. Professor Yang thinks that it is up to their aspirations. “Staring careers or studying further has nothing to do with majors. If I were them, I tend to study further in my major. After all, there are so many graduates. Self-enhancement is absolutely necessary to seize more and better opportunities. ”

 Students often feel hesitate at the time of choice. Professor Yang adds, “It is impossible to predict future life. Students need determination instead of hesitation. They need obtain more experiences, resources and information before the turning points come for making further decisions.”



  He suggests that once students join SUSTech, they are necessary to make the most of the resources such as collections in the library, the opportunities to communicate professors, to work in the laboratories for self-improvement and to pool information and resources valuable to their future.


Written By: Ding Mingyu, Qi Shichen
Photograph: Zhou Qianmin