Engineering spring graduate wants to help save the Earth

Jun 2nd, 2022

By Jackey Locke

Dr. Xudong Ye in suit and tie smiling.

Spring graduate Dr. Xudong Ye’s positive attitude is taking him places!

Dr. Ye obtained a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Liaoning University, China, before coming to Memorial University in 2013.

He then completed not one, but two, master’s degrees in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science: one in environmental system engineering management and another in civil engineering, before continuing on to a PhD.

Now, the newly-minted Dr. Ye says the choice to study at Memorial was the right one for him.

‘Choosing Memorial was a great decision’

“Memorial University is one of the top universities in Canada and offers students plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning,” he said. “Memorial also provides high-quality teaching and research resources to its students.

“I also love the natural landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador, even if it’s windy and stormy at times,” he continued with a smile. “I believe that choosing Memorial was a great decision, because I met the best supervisor, supervisory committee members, colleagues and friends here.”

Dr. Ye chose to study environmental engineering because of his passion to help protect the planet. He says that as the quality of life improves, so does pollution.

“The goal of environmental engineering is to ensure social development and the use of water, land and air resources are sustainable. This is achieved by managing those resources so as to minimize environmental pollution and degradation. Like a doctor to patients, we hope to be the “doctors” to the polluted environments.”

The avid reader thoroughly enjoyed his programs at Memorial, despite some anxiety. At times, his research outcomes were completely different from what he expected, and he felt frustrated and unmotivated.

However, he says that, over time, he came to understood that failure is one of the “most common” things in life, and that he should not settle. This realization helped him overcome his challenges.”

‘Rising star’

Dr. Bing Chen, professor and UArctic Chair in Marine and Coastal Environmental Engineering, is Dr. Ye’s supervisor and was impressed by his student throughout his programs. He says Dr. Ye is “one of the best” graduate students that that he has ever supervised.

“He enjoys bringing new ideas and energy into research based on his knowledge and insight,” said Dr. Chen. “He has clearly demonstrated his exceptional calibre as a young researcher and holds impressive records in research publications, including  approx. 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, three book chapters and more than 20 conference publications and presentations. I think he is a rising star in academia with a bright future ahead. In addition, he is a very nice, polite and responsible young man and always willing to help others.”

Dr. Ye has now become a postdoctoral research fellow, jointly hosted by the University of California, Berkeley and Memorial University, and co-supervised by Dr. Chen and Drs. Rune Storesund and Karlene Roberts of Berkeley. He is excited about the opportunity.

“I look forward to this next chapter and hope to grow more professionally,” he said. “My goal is to turn my career into my hobby!”