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Get to Know CBE PhD Graduates: Luna Liang

This is one in a series of Q&As with recent graduates of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) PhD program. The graduates discuss where they are now, how the CBE program helped them get there, and their future goals.

Luna Liang graduated from the CBE PhD program in May 2022. She is now a senior research associate at Brewer Science Inc.

Luna Liang

How did you find out about the CBE PhD program?
“I attended a study abroad program during my undergraduate studies. Experiencing firsthand the resources, facilities, and faculty expertise available at UT sparked my interest in furthering my education there. The positive experience I had during my time at UT as an undergraduate student played a significant role in guiding me back to pursue advanced studies in my field.”

Why did you choose UT’s PhD program?
“First of all, UT has a distinguished reputation in the field with renowned faculties and high-impact research. Additionally, the vibrant and supportive academic community at UT stood out to me. The collaborative atmosphere, coupled with ample opportunities for networking and professional development, offered me the chance to grow both academically and personally.”

What were the most valuable things you took away from the PhD program?
“Throughout my PhD program, I gained a wealth of valuable assets that have profoundly shaped my scholarly and professional journey. Foremost among these are the technical skills and knowledge acquired through rigorous coursework and hands-on research experiences. However, beyond the technical aspects, the program instilled in me critical thinking abilities and problem-solving skills that are indispensable in navigating complex challenges within my field.”

Was there someone who significantly helped you along your path at UT?
“Throughout my journey at UT, I received invaluable support from several key individuals. Dr. Arthur Ragauskas, my supervisor, provided expert mentorship and guidance, while my colleagues offered collaborative insights and encouragement. Additionally, the dedicated efforts of the CBE staff ensured a smooth experience, from administrative support to technical assistance. Together, their support played a crucial role in shaping my academic success at UT.”

How did the PhD program impact your life?
“It equipped me with strong technical skills, knowledge, and experiences in the chemical engineering field to pursue my career goals. Furthermore, the program fostered professional connections within the academic community.”

What advice would you give to those considering UT’s PhD program?
“My advice to those considering UT’s PhD program is to thoroughly research the program, faculty, and resources available to ensure alignment with your research interests and career goals. Additionally, I encourage prospective students to actively engage with faculty, current students, and alumni to gain insights into the program’s culture, opportunities, and challenges. Also, enjoy the nice weather and abundant outdoor activities at UT.”

How did UT help you reach your current position?
“The skills, knowledge, and experiences gained during my time at UT have been instrumental in shaping my professional trajectory and achievements, which prepared me for success in my career path.”

What are your future goals in your profession?
“I’m planning to continue conducting innovative research, contributing to advancements in my field, and making meaningful contributions to society through my work.”


Lilly Tran (