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Mentorship of the Month: Dr. Donghui Quan

Dr. Donghui Quan's Research Group

The research of Dr. Donghui Quan’s Group is dedicated to chemical modeling of astronomical systems and currently focused on two types of projects: molecules in interstellar medium and those in Titan’s atmosphere.

1) The Interstellar medium is located in between the glorious stars. Despite the extremely low density and the relatively low temperature of these regions, many molecules, including organic ones, have been detected in interstellar medium.

2) Titan is unique in the solar system as the only moon with a dense atmosphere. The physical conditions and chemical composition of Titan’s atmosphere are similar to that of the early Earth. The most abundant chemical species in Titan’s atmosphere are nitrogen gas, methane, hydrogen gas, and more importantly, many hydrocarbons and nitrogen bearing organic molecules.

The Quan Group utilizes computer assisted modeling to study these astrochemical species.  The study enriches the knowledge of the universe and may answer some of the ultimate questions of human beings. For example: what is the origin of life on the earth? Can extraterrestrial civilization exist? What will be the best places for people to search for habitable planets?

In the past three years, Dr. Quan has mentored 16 students on research and practicum. The Quan Group has 2 publications in leading journals in the Astrochemistry field, and 16 oral or poster presentations. The following is quoted from two students in the Quan Group.

Dr. Quan is a kind and knowledgeable mentor who guides his students through the research process in an easygoing and encouraging manner. He mentors students interested in computational astrochemistry. At the beginning of each semester, students interested in joining Dr. Quan’s lab declare the project of which they are most interested and a weekly meeting date is established. At these weekly meetings, Dr. Quan and his students sit around in a circular formation and discuss how their weeks have been and how the research has progressed. The meetings are a nice blend of serious discussions and funny stories told by Dr. Quan. These weekly group meetings are a testament to the amount of work and care Dr. Quan puts into every student’s efforts.”(Matthew Webb)

Dr. Donghui, Quan is my mentor. He has been since the spring semester 2017. He has help me in so many ways as far as the progress of education is concerned. He motivates me whenever I run into a problem. He responds to all my messages on time. He gives feedback to all the work I sent to him. He is a very patience and understandable professor, who takes delight in the progress of his students. His level of professionalism is very outstanding. I have never seen him angry. This makes his students feel at ease to work with him at any time. He encourages his students to grow and make good choices at any point in time throughout their career. He is one person who does not give his students the fish but rather teach them how to fish for themselves. This is good because that is the only way we can learn to figure things for ourselves and learn from it. I enjoy working with him and would recommend him to all students around.(Boniface Osei Amankona)

Published on March 17, 2018

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