Student Profile

Yong Hu

PhD, Mechanical Engineering

Yong Hu rowing a boat.
"UB engineering offers cutting-edge research opportunities with access to infinite resources and some of the world’s best professors."
Yong Hu, graduate student
mechanical engineering

Where are you from?

I am from Anhui, China.

Why did you choose UB?

I chose UB because it is one of the top research universities in New York. UB offers a distinct educational atmosphere and ample research opportunities. Another reason is the location; the university is located in Amherst, NY which has been ranked as one of the safest places in America. 

What do you like most about engineering at UB?

UB engineering offers cutting-edge research opportunities with access to infinite resources and some of the world’s best professors. It also offers a multidisciplinary cleanroom with class 1000 space and class 100 working areas and Materials Characterization labs. They also provide facilities and equipment for conducting research based on electronic devices, processing and development, materials characterization, microfabrication and other processes.

Why did you choose to go into engineering?

I’ve always been fascinated with creating and making things–and that is what engineering’s all about. I believe that an engineer is an applied scientist; what we are doing on a day-to-day basis is taking scientific principles and applying them, sometimes in newfound ways, to the engineering projects we’re working on.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus has to be the UB libraries, as all the staff are friendly and readily available to help when I need it. At UB libraries, I can check out books or use the library’s study rooms. More excitingly, UB libraries offer a host of tools, like convenient printing and scanning services. A wide variety of media and technology equipment is available for loan, such as laptops and cameras. 

What are you working on right now?

I am working on developing novel molecular materials showing promising application in energy conversion, sensors and memory devices. Molecular materials show lots of advantages, like being lightweight coupled with flexibility and simple processing. The final goal of my project is to design functional devices with these strongly correlated molecular materials that can substitute for inorganic materials-based devices.  

What have you done that you are most proud of?

I am immensely proud of my research. Over the past three years, I have successfully completed three projects with 27 journal publications. Our findings provide solutions to some of the important, current challenges in material science and engineering.  

Has there been a particular faculty or staff member that has been formative during your time at UB, and how so?

My supervisor, Prof. Shenqiang Ren, is inspiring to me. He is a very diligent and an efficient man. I’ve learned how to effectively manage my time from him, which is tremendously important for my work.

What are you passionate about?

My biggest passion is self-development and self-improvement. I’m always looking to learn new things. I’ve learned great communication skills, research skills, and problem-solving skills that help me in my day-to-day work.

What are your future plans?

I plan to be a full-time researcher after graduation and am hoping to work on developing advanced molecular materials that can change our life.

What is your advice for prospective students?

Reach out to your professors if you have questions! They work on a mostly voluntary-basis and are happy to explain concepts or point out additional resources.

Yong Hu received the Dean’s Graduate Achievement Award in 2020.