Woo wins TechnipFMC fellowship


ME doctoral student Ho Kun Woo, a researcher in Professor Lili Cai's lab, was selected as a recipient of a 2022-23 TechnipFMC Fellowship.

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Ho Kun WooMechanical engineering doctoral student Ho Kun Woo was selected as a recipient of a TechnipFMC Fellowship for the 2022-23 academic year.

The TechnipFMC educational fund was originally created by Mr. Bert A. Gayman, a mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Illinois, with an initial gift of 10,000 shares of Chicago-based Link-Belt Company (later acquired by FMC Corporation, which later merged with Technip to create TechnipFMC). Gayman’s goal was to support three prongs – scholarships, fellowships, and/or research. Since then, more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students have benefited from his generosity.

TechnipFMC hosted a reception in April to honor the recipients.

Woo is advised by MechSE Professor Lili Cai and his research is focused on the photoelectrochemical conversion of natural gas (methane). In general, methane conversion is carried out via a thermal catalyst, where high temperatures (over 700 °C) and high pressures are required for the activation of methane, resulting in high energy and capital costs. To address this problem, he is working to develop highly selective catalysts for high value-added chemicals as well as converting methane under mild conditions.

“This scholarship relieves my financial burden and allows me to focus fully on research. It also works as a great motivation and confirmation that my research contributes to society,” Woo said.

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This story was published May 24, 2022.