National Cheng Kung University alumnus Chao-Hsin Lin has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering of the United States. Lin graduated from Class 1980 of the Department of Environmental Engineering. From his studies to the workplace, Chao-Hsin Lin is always actively challenging unknown areas, integrating interdisciplinary capabilities in applications early on. He encourages NCKU students to strive in shaping their own value and performance in the workplace, and to actively continue following work if the work progresses more smoothly than expected. “Doing more is a way to improve your problem-solving abilities. Do not limit your imagination because of fear in the face of challenges. Being brave to make innovative moves is how you find your own path.”
Chao-Hsin Lin graduated from NCKU Department of Environmental Engineering in 1980. He acquired his Master’s Degree from the Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering of National Taiwan University in 1982, before he left for the United States after completing military service in 1984. In 1989, he achieved his PhD Degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lin began his career as an engineer in General Motors. After working for eight years in GM, Lin took off from land and started his career in the Boeing Company, where he has continued to work even till now. His major focus is on fluids dynamics calculations, aerospace environmental control systems, and pollutant transport in aerospace vehicles.
This year, the National Academy of Engineering has elected 111 members and 22 international members. “I was surprised upon receiving the notice. Within 3 days, my e-mail inbox was flooded by congratulatory messages from everyone,” Chao-Hsin Lin said.
Regarding his research in aerospace environmental control systems, for which he was recognized by the National Academy of Engineering, Chao-Hsin Lin explains that when the airplane climbs to a set altitude for cruise phase, the air at 10,000 meters high cannot be used to sustain human life. This makes aerospace environmental control systems crucially important. In addition to maintaining the air, temperature, and humidity levels in the cabin and cargo compartment, the system is also in charge of cooling electrical components of the airplane, responding to fires, preventing the airplane’s wings from freezing, and more. The aerospace environmental control system controls many aspects regarding the safety of cabin crew and passengers, acting as an “invisible guardian” for everyone onboard.
In the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world hard. Chao-Hsin Lin mentions that as early as 2003, when SARS broke out, many people devoted themselves to research on virus infection in flights. They look into the risks and methods for protection and prevention regarding virus infections, and put great attention to the influences of ventilation, seating distance, environmental disinfection, and quarantine areas. They continuously make improvements on the cabin environment, hoping to lower as much as possible the risks of infection during flight, providing passengers a safe and comfortable flight.
Chao-Hsin Lin switched lanes from car industry to aerospace industry. He believes that airplanes face numerous risks soaring 30,000 to 40,000 meters above ground. “We get to cool down cars heat up under the sun by rolling down the windows, but it is impossible to do so on an airplane.” The harsher execution and environmental conditions prompted Chao-Hsin Lin to jump into a broader domain, challenging the unknown with his professional knowledge.
“In the industry, being able to solve major problems for the company is the most important key.” Chao-Hsin Lin points out the industry often requires simulation for engineering to help the companies save the cost for experiments and find the feasible solutions. Solving extremely difficult missions is what makes him most accomplished. Chao-Hsin Lin mentions their collaboration with Air New Zealand a few years ago. Three days before the delivery date, they received the wish from ANZ to paint the airplane black in order to celebrate the New Zealand national team in winning the rugby world cup. Given how the color black absorbs more radiation from sunlight, the team had to hurriedly construct models to calculate all possible risks for the areas more sensitive to temperature, such as the wings and fuselage. They had to make sure painting the airplane black was feasible within three days, and fortunately, it all worked out. In the end, they met the customer’s needs and made successfully delivery.
From his studies to the workplace, Chao-Hsin Lin is always actively challenging unknown areas. At early stages after the establishment, the Department of environmental engineering focused mostly in water pollution. Nevertheless, Chao-Hsin Lin chose a different path and put his attention to air pollution. When he was working on his PhD Degree in the United States, he turned to study mechanical engineering for that he wanted to look into the relation between air pollution and the burning of power plants and engines. For many years, Chao-Hsin Lin integrated interdisciplinary abilities and applied them well in the workplace. Regarding the current development of Taiwan’s aerospace industry, Chao-Hsin Lin believes that Taiwan possesses extensive talents and technologies, and that once properly integrated, will have substantial potential.