Dr. Fan Ren
UF Department of Chemical Engineering
2009-2010 UF Doctoral Mentoring Award Winner
Besides guiding students in conducting research, I frequently speak with students about work ethics and academics as well as professional honesty. I have interactive discussions with my students on the social responsibilities of engineers and importance professionalism. I provides them with guidelines to develop appropriate practices in the workplace, such as (a) getting their work done as committed, (b) showing up to their appointments and meetings on time, © openly recognizing any potential shortcomings of their approaches and seeking adequate solutions, (d) earning the trust of their peers and co-workers by sharing the credit and their knowledge of their work, (e) not cutting corners and strictly following the lab rules and safety requirements when conducting their research.
I have also helped students to gain public-speaking skills by holding regular weekly meetings where one or two graduate students give an oral presentation. I discuss techniques for improving the effectiveness of these presentations, ranging from the adequate organization of the material to the physical demeanor of the speaker on the stage. My students would have at least two to three opportunities to attend international conferences to present their research. I have helped students to develop writing and peer-to-peer mentorship skills.
I encourage my doctoral students to take an internship for a summer during their years in graduate school to gain valuable hands-on work experience and to test their personal aptitudes, abilities, and interests in relation to their career choices and job demands. The internship can also assist my students to integrate their academic studies, improve interpersonal skills, as well as develop references and professional contacts that have the potential to lead to future job offers. I have arranged for my students to go to Sandia National Labs., AT&T Bell Labs., Naval Research Laboratories, EMCORE Incorp., and CFDRC corp. So far, except for one student who wanted to graduate earlier, every Ph.D. student has taken an internship. I have directed 3 master degree and 16 doctoral degree students. My students have been hired by very prestigious companies and university, including Intel, DuPont, Rockwell Research Center, GE Research Center, Army Research Laboratories, Naval Research Laboratories, Raytheon Research Laboratories, Northrop Grammar, Korea University, Dankook University, National Tsing Hua University and UC Berkeley.