Zhang, Xiang

Story by Francesca Pascual

Xiang Zhang is studying high temperature heat exchangers for his thesis, entitled "Hybrid at onset manufacturing for high temperature heat exchanger applications".  “I first did optimization to decide on the most effective model, then created the high temperature heat exchangers using the DMRS 3-D printing process,” he explains.  Zhang began working on this project in the fall of 2014 when he was still working on his bachelor’s degree. He studied for three years at Wuhan University of Technology before transferring to the University of Maryland to finish his degree in Mechanical Engineering. Zhang expects to finish his work in the summer of 2018 and graduate with his doctorate that fall.

His circle of colleagues to include the students working in other lab groups

Zhang believes being a part of CEEE has been an enriching experience, including the consortiums and other students. “I’ve presented at four of the CEEE consortiums  so far,” he mentions, “It’s been a great way to improve my presentation skills and sponsors gave given me a lot of advice.” The practical advice has been helpful, but so has his relationships with his fellow students. After initially associating only with his group under Dr. Michael Ohadi, Zhang has expanded his circle of colleagues to include the students working in other lab groups. “The environment is friendly and there is no competition because everyone is working on their own project,” he says. This allows the students to interact and learn from each other without conflict.

Although Zhang has plenty of time left at CEEE, he likes to plan for the future. Zhang is from Shiyan, a city in the Hubei province, China, but would like to work in the United States for five to 10 years after graduating. Industry work appeals to him because it would allow him to learn more , but he may like to go into research at some point, depending on his experience in the industry. “My parents were both engineers,” he smiles, “so my dad suggested I do industry work in the United States.”

Feels that driving in DC is worse than driving in China

Zhang doesn’t like to visit Washington D.C. very often due to the traffic. “Driving here is even worse than driving in China, so I don’t travel too far from the University of Maryland,”  he says. When he’s able to relax, he likes to exercise to regain energy for work and watch movies, including Forest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, and the Godfather Series. “The first and second Godfather movies are the best, but the third is not very good,” he explains.