An undergraduate in the Class of 2024, Sifei Du is a computer science + chemistry major who has been involved in undergraduate research in the group of Professor Paul Braun, who is a faculty member in the departments of chemistry and materials science and engineering.
Du's ultimate career goal is to do energy storage and battery research and be a professor, and he has had the opportunity to delve into that type of research at Illinois. As an undergraduate researcher, he has been working on electrolytes and batteries projects.
"We are trying to improve the conductivity of the electrolyte based on previous research and increase the stability of batteries... we are also searching for ways to make a battery with greater mechanical strength so that it can be applied to multiple situations," said Du, who is also a Teaching Assistant in Chem 101.
Du has not only been involved in the Braun group research projects, but also in compiling research results in written form to be submitted for publication in science journals.
A highlight of his undergraduate experience has been working with his research group mentor on finishing a research project studying ion transportation in polymer networks that resulted in a paper that was submitted for publication, the second research paper that Du has been a part of as an undergraduate.
Outside academic work and research, Du is involved in extra-curricular activities, including the Jasmine Field Orchestra (JFO), which was founded by Chinese students in Urbana-Champaign. The orchestra blends Western symphonies and Eastern folk music, breaking the boundaries between traditional and modern music, and providing a unique platform for music-loving students and music-loving groups in the region.