Chemical Engineer awarded prestigious Schwarzman scholarship to study in China

An Imperial chemical engineering alum has been awarded a prestigious Schwarzman scholarship to study in China.

Jana Tian (Chemical Engineering, 2016) was selected for the graduate fellowship at Schwarzman College , based at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The programme is extremely competitive, with Jana being selected among 145 Scholars from more than 4,700 applicants from around the world.

The scholars will pursue a Master’s degree in Global Affairs with a core curriculum that is focused on three pillars: China, global affairs, and leadership.

Jana said: “I hope to study about how China is opening up to the rest of the World through building relationships.

"I love travelling, and I have been to over 25 countries but nothing compares to how fascinating and complex China is. I am curious to learn how China has become the second largest economy in the world and what lessons can we learn from China’s rapid development.

"China is now making a transition from a labour-intensive, manufacturing-based economy into a services and innovation-oriented society and it’s an incredible time to be in China to witness this first hand.

“On top of learning about China, I am especially excited to be part of a diverse cohort and build new friendships across cultures and borders.

“Through the Schwarzman program, I’m confident that I can further learn from esteemed academics, corporations and leaders from China.”

The College’s fifth class of Scholars include students from 41 countries and 108 universities.

Jana, who becomes Imperial’s third Schwarzman Scholar, said: “My multi-cultural upbringing forms the basis of my world views and I am passionate in learning about different perspectives, immerse in foreign culture and building bridges and partnerships for a better world.

“There are two global issues that I’m truly passionate to solve with the new peers - sustainability, such as plastic reduction, and equal education for all.”

During her time at Imperial, Jana was part of the Raincatcher and Rural Education Development volunteering groups.

Raincatcher Imperial is a student led charity which believe that access to clean, safe disease-free water is a basic human right. In her second year Jana was selected to go on an expedition to Tanzania for 3 months to build rainwater harvesting tanks.

She also went on an expedition to Borneo with Imperial’s Rural Education Development voluntary group to construct an educational development centre in a village of Ranau to deliver education to children.

Speaking about her time at Imperial, Jana said: “Imperial was the best place for me to study, and until this day I still believe so.

"Studying Chemical engineering has not only opened my eyes to the world-leading research, education and leadership but it has exposed me to the real-world problems that do not have easy answers.

“It has given me many opportunities to work together across multi-cultural, multi-national teams, and make life-long friends across the world.”

Remarkable individuals

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Founding Trustee of Schwarzman Scholar, said: “I am inspired by these remarkable, accomplished and dynamic young individuals who will be joining Schwarzman Scholars at a time when its mission is more important than ever.

“I am excited to see how they contribute to both the Schwarzman College and greater Tsinghua University communities, and ultimately how they will apply themselves as people of consequence in their generation.”

Professor Xue Lan, Dean of Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University said: "Each one of these Scholars has demonstrated excellence in their chosen field of study.

"We look forward to welcoming this incredible group to Schwarzman College, where I have no doubt they will impress us all with their intellectual and leadership abilities."

Beyond the classroom, scholars gain exceptional exposure to China and access to important relationships through internships, mentors, high-profile speakers, and opportunities to travel throughout China.

Imperial’s Professor Amparo Galindo, from the Department of Chemical Engineering, was Jana’s personal tutor at the College.

Professor Galindo said: "We couldn’t be more pleased for Jana to have received this scholarship.

"Jana was always full of positive ideas and plans during her undergraduate years in Chemical Engineering.

"She worked extremely hard, is really driven and clear on what she wants to achieve, yet amazingly friendly and collegial too.

"Imperial encourages and supports its students to experience different cultures, build networks and expand their horizons. "

Future leader

After leaving Imperial Jana joined the Unilever Future Leader Program and is currently the R&D Manager based in Shanghai with the company to “scout and build strategic partnerships with start-ups and very innovative firms in China to establish an ecosystem of partnerships.”

Peter Schrooyen, Head of Unilever R&D Shanghai, said: "Me and the Unilever R&D Leadership team are so proud that Jana has been awarded this prestigious scholarship.

"It fits perfectly with Jana’s curiosity, creativity, eagerness and passion to do something meaningful in this world, by integrating Eastern and Western world views and expanding and deepening her skills and competencies.

"Jana will be missed, but I strongly believe this is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for her, and I’m sure she will continue to thrive." Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or Imperial College London.

Stephen Johns
Communications and Public Affairs

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