Carnegie Mellon University

Xi “Lucius” Liu (M.S. December ’14)

CSSA
Lucius was looking for a master’s program in Material Science, when he clicked on the link to the EST&P website. Based on experience from a project at his undergraduate university, he knew that he was interested in the topic of energy. When Lucius arrived at Carnegie Mellon University, he was astonished by the amount of academic freedom that the EST&P program allowed. Lucius could take Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) courses in addition to his Material Science disciplinary concentration classes, he could participate in research projects under the supervision of engineering faculty, and he even had enough free time to join the Chinese Students & Scholars Association (CSSA)! Although he had to study harder here in Pittsburgh than he had in China, Lucius found the friendly, diverse campus to be the most valuable part of his experience at CMU. Lucius’ top three favorite classes he took at CMU are Materials for Energy Storage, Energy Policy and Economics, and Nanostructured Materials.
Not only did Lucius take on a full graduate course load, but he also worked under materials science faculty Dr. Lisa Porter and Dr. Mohammad Islam. He says that it could sometimes be difficult to balance classes and laboratory work, but he was thrilled to obtain practical, hands-on learning that would be useful upon graduation. Lucius was even given the opportunity to present his work at the American Vacuum Society (AVS) conference in Baltimore, MD in the fall of 2014. His work focused on developing transparent, flexible displays from a conductive polymer of carbon nanotubes.

Upon graduation, Lucius is headed to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, near his hometown in China. He will complete a research fellowship starting in February 2015. By August of next year, Lucius hopes to return to CMU to begin his PhD in Material Science under Dr. Lisa Porter. Once he has obtained his doctorate, Lucius would like to work as a consultant. He believes that strategy and business can be just as important as technical skills. His advice to prospective students is to “set up your goals and plans ahead of time because there are so many opportunities here. It is very important to know what you want to do with your time, even if those goals will change.”