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30 under 30: Using Physics to Address Environmental Issues

Meet Pengfei Shen, 23, one of the up-and-coming physicists attending this year's Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
Chinese scientist Pengfei Shen



Courtesy Pengfei Shen

The annual Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting brings a wealth of scientific minds to the shores of Germany’s Lake Constance. Every summer at Lindau, dozens of Nobel Prize winners exchange ideas with hundreds of young researchers from around the world. Whereas the Nobelists are the marquee names, the younger contingent is an accomplished group in its own right. In advance of this year’s meeting, which focuses on physics, we are profiling several promising attendees under the age of 30. The profile below is the ninth in a series of 30.

Name: Pengfei Shen
Age: 23
Born: Jiangsu Province, China
Nationality: Chinese

Current position: Research assistant, Tongji University
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Hohai University, master’s degree from Tongji University

What is your field of research?
Environmental systems analysis and optimization; water and wastewater treatment; sustainable development.

What drew you to physics, and to that research area in particular?
My strong interest in research, especially in environmental systems analysis and optimization, as well as my strong will to address the water crisis in China, drew me to my current area of research; more than 8 projects I have led or participated in enabled me to appreciate considerable savings benefited from engineering optimization.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I plan to study in a foreign country in the next few years to get a doctoral degree. After that I will go back to China to employ advanced analytical methodologies and techniques to address severe water crises in China. My long-term goal is to be a scientist and decision maker in the Ministry of Environmental Protection of China, establishing far-reaching strategies for Chinese water resources planning and management.

Who are your scientific heroes?
Leonhard Euler, Karl F. Gauss.

What activities outside of physics do you most enjoy?
Acting, singing, drawing, making speeches.

What do you hope to gain from this year’s Lindau meeting?
Attending the Lindau meeting will provide me an opportunity to communicate with and learn from the best researchers in the world. Our discussion and their experiences will help me understand how to improve my research ability. In addition, it will also help me shape a global perspective.

Are there any Nobelists whom you are particularly excited to meet or learn from at Lindau?
Professor Paul J. Crutzen.

« Previous
8. Marina Radulaski
30 Under 30:
Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting
Next »
10. Jacinta Delhaize

 

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