Young Liu: Learning from Leu

In 1988, Young Liu came to the United States with $89 in his pocket and met the man who would change the course of his life: Ming Leu.

Thumbnail image for Liu_DSC_1357_fmt.jpeg

Ming Leu, left, and Young Liu, right. Photo by B.A. Rupert.

At the time, Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Distinguished Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T, was teaching at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Liu was one of his graduate students. The pair worked together until 1991, co-publishing two academic papers.
Liu was grateful for the mentorship.
“I came from China for graduate study with Ming Leu,” Liu says, “and he treated me like family.”
Liu never forgot his mentor-instructor’s kindness.

“I find Dr. Leu’s research focus interesting and I wanted to support it.” — Young Liu

Today, Liu is chair of Faith Group Co. Inc., one of the largest recyclers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics in the world. Each year, the company brings in 4.5 percent of the world’s No. 1 recyclable products, processing 350,000 metric tons of soda and water bottles into packaging materials.
When he started the company, Liu saw a niche market.“Fifteen years ago, not many people were into recycling,” he says. “I could get my product at no cost and sell it to make money.”
Founded in 1993 with $3,000 in capital, the company now brings in upwards of $100 million annually. Liu oversees six plants and 12 offices around the globe. Last fall, Liu shared some of his profits with his mentor, donating $200,000 to support Leu’s research at Missouri S&T.
“I find Dr. Leu’s research focus interesting and I wanted to support it,” Liu says.
Through his leadership of the Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies, Leu is involved in a variety of research projects at Missouri S&T, but it is his work with automation and human-computer interaction in assembly plants that caught Liu’s attention.
“My goal is to find ways to develop products quickly and cost-effectively in a virtual world, then actually manufacture the products,” Leu explains.
“It’s fun to be a professor,” Leu says. “You teach the students, but you can learn from them, too.”

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

[Read More...]

Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

[Read More...]

Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

[Read More...]

MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

[Read More...]

A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

[Read More...]