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November 2013

Award Winner Interview: Liang Feng

Below is an exclusive interview with Mitacs Globalink Research Intern Liang Feng who won the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – Undergraduate at the 3rd annual Mitacs Awards Reception on November 19th in Ottawa. Hailing from China’s Nanjing University, Liang spent the summer of 2013 at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Dr. Jacob Krich in the Department of Physics.

Can you tell us a bit about the research you did through Mitacs Globalink that led to you winning the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – Undergraduate?

During my internship, I was able to make a significant and original discovery regarding the behavior of electrons in the materials used to make solar cells.  Against both prevailing wisdom in the field and Professor Krich’s recommendation, I pursued my ideas and demonstrated the existence of a phenomenon that had not been noticed by researchers in the past.  My discovery will significantly aid the development of highly efficient and affordable solar cells. It was a very exciting summer!

What is the greatest advantage you feel you gained through your internship? What does it bring to your research or professional career?

I think the greatest advantage I gained was learning about the importance of teamwork.  Working alongside Professor Krich and his team of graduate students showed me what we can accomplish as a team. We were able to come up with a strategy very quickly while pursuing our own ideas.

Which skill do you think is most important for undergraduate students to learn before doing research abroad?

I think it’s important for students to immerse themselves in their field of study before doing research aboard. Whether it’s by reading studies and academic journals or by having discussions with their professors, a good researcher should keep himself up-to-date.

What was the highlight of your Mitacs Globalink internship?

I think the highlight was my trip to Niagara Falls. It was a really impressive experience. No words can describe the breathtaking beauty of it! My research discovery was also a huge highlight.

What are your future plans?  Where do you see yourself in five years?

My future plans are to return to Canada to complete my graduate studies. The beautiful environment, the diverse cultures, the high-level education and the advanced scientific research are all very attractive to me. In five years I hope to be working in the field of electronics, ideally in Canada! 

See below for Liang Feng's Mitacs Awards acceptance speech!


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