Lin, Xiaojie

Research Topic: 

Experimental Evaluation and Simulation Research of Novel Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems


Story by Francesca Pascual

Ph.D. stuent Xiaojie Lin builds air conditioning systems using refrigerant flow systems. This energy efficient technology is used more often in commercial applications, such as office buildings, as opposed to residential applications. His dissertation, Experimental Evaluation and Simulation Research of Novel Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems, mainly involves doing simulations and controls research to investigate the energy saving potential, novel systems, and control algorithms in real world applications.

Lin is no stranger to hard work. He also was a part of an EEHP consortium group that developed mobile air conditioning systems with improved energy efficiency. From 2012 to 2013, he built systems and added novel components, as well as tested them for effectiveness. The findings were presented to the National Congress of the Society for Automobile Engineers (SAE). He found the project very rewarding. “I learned a lot about building components and testing them for real world applications,” said Lin.

Wants to work on smart building technology for energy-efficient homes

As busy as Lin is now, he looks towards his future. “I would like to work on smart building technology. I am interested in pursuing energy savings for residential applications,” Lin said. His desire to work for companies within the industry stems from a desire to create usable technology. “I want my work to make a difference in people’s lives; I don’t just want to research for the sake of research,” remarked Lin.

Although Lin is excited about his job prospects, he’s enjoying his time at CEEE. Its active involvement in the air conditioning technology field has given him the opportunity to explore the aspects of work he’s most interested in. He also feels that he has been exposed to many parts of the industry, and he has been able to build relationships with industry members. “I also value the CEEE staff. I know I can always find and approach a faculty member with any questions that I have. I’m very thankful that I can learn from their knowledge,” Lin commented.

Prior to coming to CEEE, he studied energy and environmental engineering at Zhejiang University, in Hangzhou, China. After earning his bachelor’s degree, he searched for a graduate program that would provide important experience and allow him to grow in the fields that were most interesting to him. CEEE was a perfect intersection of what he wanted in a potential program. “My first presentation was at the International Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Conference at Purdue University in July 2014. I was very nervous, but I think it was a good experience,” said Lin, decidedly. He was also able to meet many people that worked in his field that live close by, giving him an opportunity to expand his network.

Technology keeps him in touch with home, friends keep him at home here

Lin is far from home in the Zhejiang Province, China. He enjoys living in the United States, but has noticed some key differences from his home in south eastern China and his home in Maryland. “Summer here is much dryer. Back in China, there are many typhoons during the summer season. I am used to the downpour of rain and humidity that comes along with living on a coastal province during typhoon season,” Lin laughs. He also misses the high-speed railways that connect the many points of interest in China. “The high-speed railways allowed me to get everywhere that I wanted to go very quickly. There is a lot less driving in China because you can use the railways and buses to reach any destination,” he states. Lin uses the metro system, but finds it limiting because it only extends to a few locations.

Lin rarely misses home, even though he has been in the United States since 2012. “Skype and FaceTime are great because I can stay in touch with my family without needing an expensive plane ticket or long-distance phone call,” he remarks. He has visited his home a few times, which makes the distance bearable. 

Living in such close proximity to Washington D.C. encourages Lin to explore the city. He enjoys photography, stopping at interesting places, and eating at new restaurants. He also likes to attend classical music concerts at the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center. Other things he likes to do in his free time include playing card games and board games. “We mostly play Chinese games, but we also really enjoy ‘The Song of Ice and Fire (a board game inspired by the popular Game of Thrones series),’” he said. Lin also likes to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available in the area. “I like to hike, visit the lake, and have barbeques with friends,” he adds. Sometimes, the group also likes to go to karaoke bars. He enjoys this though he does not feel like his singing voice is up to par. “It’s just a fun thing to do together,” he laughs.