Breaking Barriers

By:       Staci Jones
Date:    November 1, 2017

Xi Ru, November Engineer of the Month and Environmental Engineering-ACCEND senior, looks to address the world's ecological issues and make improvements to the overall quality of life for humanity.

Xi Ru

Cooperative education (co-op) program is what led Engineer of the Month, Xi Ru, to choose the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) to study environmental engineering.

Ru always believed that the abilities of applying in-class knowledge to the real-world is essential to being successful in the field of engineering.

In deciding what focus she wanted to pursue in the field, she researched various majors and was drawn to environmental engineering due to its rapid growth and the impact that it has both locally and globally. The global impact was explored through her international co-op in Singapore.

Ru’s first co-op was at Yingli Solar in Singapore. She says that this experience allowed her to realize the importance of precision in any engineering task.

Her second co-op was through CEAS working under Professor Mingming Lu, where she performed innovative research focused on biodiesel production.

Ru is also earning her Master of Business Administration as part of CEAS’ Accelerated Engineering Degree (ACCEND) program. This program allows students to simultaneously earn both their undergraduate and master’s degrees. Therefore, instead of completing a third co-op, Ru opted to take MBA courses.

For her fourth and fifth co-op, Ru worked at BiOWISH Technology Inc. in Cincinnati. There, she was trained by professional engineers and assigned to do an array of tasks, she even had the opportunity to travel back to China three times in order to visit the project sites and to attend the National Aqua Conference.

Originally from Yuncheng, Shanxi of China, Ru initially encountered a language barrier upon arriving in the US. Despite this challenge, Ru has made the Dean’s list every semester and considers it to be one of her proudest achievements.

Her advice to future students is to prioritize work. She says that whenever approached with a conflicting situation in balancing co-op, school and personal life, to remain calm and reevaluate your situation before moving forward.

Ru states that she looks forward to bettering society and treating ecological issues, she hopes to make improvements to the overall quality of life for humanity.

Upon graduating in 2018, Ru is both job hunting and applying for graduate programs. She hopes to work a few years in industry prior to reentering academia.

The College of Engineering and Applied Science congratulates Xi Ru on her outstanding achievements thus far and as the November Engineer of the Month.

Select for previous Engineers of the Month.