Yang ShenSenior Research Engineer Chemistry – Chemistry
How would you describe yourself?
I consider myself to be social. In my work, I like to think I am creative while remaining detail-oriented.
Could you tell a bit about your background/where you grew up?
I grew up in China, where I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology. I moved to Sweden where I attended Uppsala University to acquire my master’s degree in Chemistry for Renewable Energy. I moved to Stockholm to attend Stockholm University. I have done 5 years of study towards a PhD in Chemistry.
What led you to work in the energy storage industry?
I have a general interest in the industry for a variety of reasons. I see problems in the world; some societies are lacking energy and others are suffering from a lot of pollution. Through my interest in biology, I want to be part of extending human life. My fascination with chemistry drives me to be part of growing renewable energy resources. Ultimately, I want to contribute to a more sustainable world.
How did your journey with Nilar start?
While studying at Stockholm University, I had the privilege of working on projects with Professor Dag Noréus, who served as my PhD supervisor. These projects involved research into the functionality of components within Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. It was through this work that I was able to familiarize myself with the company of Nilar. Before graduation, I was recommended to work there, and the head of R&D contacted me for an interview.
What’s most fun about your job?
I like that everything I work on is new and challenging. Especially the oxygen project, which can change the NiMH battery market. Developing a sustainable way to extend the cycle life of a battery, is revolutionizing the batteries and offering a new solution to the market.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by working in the research and development department. My job allows me to be very creative. Development of good ideas and new technologies are my main driving force.
What is the most common misconception about your role?
Many people think that batteries are for only electric cars. A lot of people are not aware of the diversity in the different chemistries or that they exist.
Tips that you would give yourself early in your career?
Focus is important for efficiency, so there needs to be a clear separation of play time and work time. Increase focus and efficiency by being good at organizing your time.
Achievement you’ve accomplished in your career that you’re especially proud of?
The oxygen refill project that I’m involved in. We have discovered a method that allows the cycle life of NiMH batteries to be extended; it makes me incredibly proud to be a part of offering a new solution that can revolutionize the battery market.
Who inspires you?
My PhD supervisor, Dag Noréus. He is very innovative and has good ideas. He gives me a lot of freedom to do things, encouraging me to work independently.
What movies do you like?
I really like sci-fi movies, Interstellar is a great motion picture – the plot is about finding a new planet for humans to live on.
A secret talent?
I am a specialist in antique Chinese porcelain. I have a passion to collect because of it’s artistic and economic value. I visit museums, take courses and follow auctions, I’m building up strong knowledge in the area of antique Chinese porcelain. The auction business in Sweden is very developed, there are many auction houses around Sweden. You can find many good antique Chinese porcelains for a relatively cheap price.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I aspire to be promoted to a management position, to be a project leader and lead a team. I feel I have many good ideas that compliment those of my colleagues. A higher-level status can mean I have more impact and influence.
What’s the best thing about working at Nilar?
I think my colleagues are very friendly and I have a lot of freedom in my work. I’m the only one in Gävle not being native Swedish speaker, however, I believe that in the future, more and more young international innovators will join Nilar. It’s growing very fast and we need talented young people from all around the world!