Who’s who in Science …
Dr. Lin Long joined UFV in 2010. She is the Co-chair of the EPDM Program in the Physics Department. She teaches engineering courses in the EPDM program and first-year physics courses.
I grew up on an island surrounded by rivers in the middle region of China. My father was a high school teacher and my mother was a beekeeper. Every summer holiday during high school and even into university, I helped my parents harvest honey and royal jelly.
I received my BASc in Electrical Engineering at Chongqing University; Master’s degree in Applied Computer Technology at Wuhan University of Technology, and my PhD in Control Engineering from Zhejiang University.
What’s my favourite books and films? I don’t like to list them because depending on the circumstances I enjoy different books and films. I used to like science fiction and love stories but nowadays, I am a big fan of spy, detective, science fiction books and movies. If I had to name a few favourites, I would say I am fond of Sherlock Holmes and Iron Man.
After I immigrated to Canada, I wanted to continue my career in post-secondary teaching and engineering but at the time my English was very poor. I failed my first interview with the Physics Department at UFV in 2009. I didn’t give up. Instead, I sat in Professor Tim Cooper’s physics classes to learn technical English and improve my physics knowledge. In return, I offered to tutor his students. One semester later, I started to teach just first year physics labs as a sessional instructor. After my English improved, I began teaching physics lectures (Physics 111 and 112). At the same time, I was searching engineer opportunities in the local industries and luckily I got a position in engineering department of IMW Industries in Chilliwack in 2011. While working in the industry, I discovered that there were only Engineering Transfer and Trade Programs in the Fraser Valley but the demand for engineers/technologists was increasing. I thought UFV should have an engineering program to fill this gap. The department and I developed the Engineering Physics Diploma in Mechtronics (EPDM) program at UFV. With the approval of the EPDM program and a faculty position opening up in the Physics department, I was hired by UFV.
I am now an Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the EPDM program in the Physics department. My role is to teach both physics and engineering courses in addition to the service for the EPDM program, the Physics Department, Science Faculty and UFV. I am also interested in students involved in applied science related to agriculture automation and healthcare equipment.
I am very thankful to all the members in the physics department, Carmen Herman, Norm Taylor, Derek Harnett, Jeff Chizma, Peter Mulhern and especially Tim Cooper. They all have offered their support, encouragement, and generosity to me in many ways since I started working at UFV. Without them, I would not be here.
Did I always know that I wanted to teach? Well, I didn’t think I would enjoy teaching until working as an electrical engineer at a motor manufacturing company in China for 7 years. In the late 1990s, the Chinese economy started to boom and many professors quit their university jobs and pursued higher rewarding jobs in industries and business. A family friend who was a professor at Wuhan University of Technology told me that the university was recruiting engineering instructors who had industry experience. I started to think it might be very interesting to share my knowledge and experience with potential future engineers so I applied for the job and got it! As time went by, I realized I enjoyed teaching very much.
At UFV I mostly teach engineering courses in the EPDM program, such as Circuit Analysis, Electronics, Automatic Control Theory and the Mechatronics Capstone Project Course in addition to some first year physics courses. I like the Capstone Course the most. It is not an easy course for the students and the instructor but it is more interesting, creative, and skills-oriented.
I find it very rewarding to see the students through the whole EPDM program: from the beginning with very limited knowledge on engineering and physics to the completion of this program with skills, knowledge, and confidence. It is especially rewarding when I see my students get employment after graduation.
What advice do I have for current and prospective students? Well post-secondary education is very important and valuable, but it is also costly and short. Looking back at my own university life and work experience and the observation of my own students, I would suggest that students use this opportunity wisely. This would include time management, making plans in advance, take time to talk to peers and professionals, get involved in campus events, join clubs and so on. Obtaining knowledge is important, but building different skills is also key for future careers and life.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Faculty of Science.