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An Interview: Prof. Jinjun Shan

Prof. Jinjun Shan (Photo credit: Lassonde School of Engineering)

Prof. Jinjun Shan
(Photo credit: Lassonde School of Engineering)

What is your educational background?

I have obtained all of my degrees – B.Eng., M.Eng., and Ph.D. – from Harbin Institute of Technology in China. Prior to coming to York, I worked as a PDF at University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace studies (UTIAS).

What is your most memorable project?

It is definitely the balloon flight (two flights actually – in Sweden and Australia). I’m a space engineer, mostly working on theoretical topics. The balloon project was the first time I developed and flew an actual instrument in a real space mission.

If you could create any course at York, which course would you create?

I’d create an advanced dynamics control course. When I was a graduate student, I had to take two courses on this topic; UofT students take two courses as well. Similarly, in my undergrad, I had a whole year course on dynamics control of spacecraft. Yet, at York, we only have 1 term of dynamics and control for Space Engineering students – this is definitely not enough. In addition, we only teach classical control systems, but it is just the first step – we need to add modern control systems to the curriculum.

Which part of teaching is most exciting to you?

I’m happy if I can teach a student something “hands on”, and they can solve a problem with something they learned from the class – whether it is dynamics, control, or electronics.

What do you like/dislike about York the most?

Like: York gives me an opportunity to do my own research.

Dislike: It is too slow: the processes are too slow; if you need something, you have to ask for it too many times; we don’t have concrete policies for many things.

What do you like/dislike about York the most?

Like: York gives me an opportunity to do my own research.

Dislike: It is too slow: the processes are too slow; if you need something, you have to ask for it too many times; we don’t have concrete policies for many things.

Favourite building at York?

Petrie, because my office and lab are here. It is also better than most buildings in terms of the size and air conditioning.

Favourite quote?

“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Chinese Proverb

Favourite Lassonde color?  Yellow

Favourite food?  Noodles

Favourite movie? I like “Transformers” – I have watched all of them with my son.

Favourite book? My favourite book is Three Kingdoms.

What do you do in your free time?

I like playing badminton.

If you could be any age, which age would you choose and why?

My son’s age, 10-12 years old, because you don’t have to worry about anything and can simply enjoy your life.

Where would you like to travel to?

I have travelled a lot for my work. Previously, I wanted to go to Australia the most, but I have already travelled there for the balloon flight. Now, I’d like to go to South America (Brazil, Argentina), since I have still never been there.

Bucket list items?

I want to travel as much as possible.

Choose one:

Summer/Winter Apple/PC Star Wars/Star Trek Ketchup/Mustard