Teaching & Mentoring

Guest Lecturer | Thesis Supervisor | Research Mentor | Teaching Assistant

My Teaching Philosophy

Advanced personalized learning was listed at the top of the fourteen Grand Challenges in the 21st century by the National Academy of Engineering. The scientific reason behind it is that learning styles, speeds, and interests all vary from individual to individual. This challenge is particularly significant for engineering – students are trained to define a problem from a real-world observation, identify the underlying physics, simplify and solve the problem, and explain the observation using the solution (DISSE for short) – each of these actions can be performed in numerous correct ways which will depend on student preference and personality. Therefore, the core of my teaching philosophy is student-oriented instruction to realize personalized learning. I will use three pillars to support this core.

Pillar I. Building an inclusive climate. The multi-disciplinary nature of engineering problems determines that our students will come with diverse research backgrounds and personal identities. The knowledge and skills that we teach are closely related to society. Therefore, this pillar is the first priority to make all students feel welcomed and bolster their growth.

Pillar II. Inspiring active learning. Engineering sciences come from real-world scenarios. I believe that the best way to learn engineering theories is through active thinking and practicing. I will introduce interactive modules into the traditional lectures in class so students learn to relate theories with real-world applications.

Pillar III. Personalizing assessments. Assessment is the key procedure that helps the learner and the instructor know how successful the learning has been. Instead of the high-stakes final exams, I will personalize the assessments to make them formative and authentic – giving students opportunities to go through the whole DISSE procedure in a real-world context and monitoring their progress and growth rather than only results and scores.

Being student-centered does not necessarily mean marginalizing the instructor, because students and the instructor can mutually inspire each other. I believe that the deepest learning of a subject is to teach it. Looking at the history of engineering, most of the successful researchers are, above all, excellent teachers – Stephen Timoshenko, Theodore von Karman, Ascher H. Shapiro, to name a few. It is my goal to follow these giants.

Teaching & mentoring Experiences

Guest Lecturer

  • Brown University Course: Materials and Interfaces for Energy Storage Devices (graduate level), 2021 Fall
    A 3-hour guest lecture on the topic of "Electro-Chemo-Mechanics"

  • MIT Course: 2.081J Plates and Shells (Graduate-level), 2020 Spring
    Guest Lecture on "Advanced Topics on Plate Buckling"

Thesis Supervisor

  • Master Theses

  • LT Chris Reynolds. “Generating a large experimental databank of the coupled electrochemical and mechanical effects of Li-ion cells for potential data-driven prognostic application.” Expected in 2021

  • Tobias Sedlatschek. “Characterization of the plasticity and fracture behavior of lithium under various stress states with particular emphasis on its microstructural evolution.” 2020

  • Marco Miguel Koch. “Testing and modeling the mechanical behavior of lithium-ion pouch cells under in-plane compression.” 2019

  • Bachelor Thesis

  • Zachery W Kutschke. “Modeling the internal short circuit of lithium-ion battery cells with physics-informed neural network algorithms.” 2020

Research Mentor

  • Three visiting PhD students

  • Zhexin Pan, Tsinghua University, 2019-2020

  • Wei Li, Tsinghua University, 2017-2018

  • Hailing Luo, 2017-2018

  • Two Master students

  • LT Nathaniel J. Byrd, Course 2N Master student @ MIT, 2017-2018

  • Zihao Qin, Master student, Tsinghua University, 2014-2017

  • One undergraduate student

  • Rui Luo, Summer Intern @ MIT, 2018

Teaching Assistant

  • Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): Fundamentals of Automotive Crash Safety, 2015 Spring
    Role: Captioning lecture videos

  • Course: Impact Dynamics, 2013 Fall
    Role: Laboratory