The early research experience on metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions (Prof. Hua Fu Group) and its application in organic electronic materials development (Sony Materials Lab at Atsugi) gave me the belief that, rational selection of metal elements as well as structure design of organic ligands and metal complexes will provide infinite possibilities, including solutions to environmental pollution.
The nature has achieved the biggest "environmetnal engineering", photosynthesis, which starts with Mg complex havesting sunlight. Fe, Co, and Cu complexes also play key roles in numerous enzymatic reactions, including pollutant degradations. Biomimetic design, and further discoveries and developments beyond the biomimetic system are what I want to contribute to both environmental engineering and chemical science. Think about the number of metal elements, their variable oxidation states and coordination patterns, and the unlimited ways of ligand design.
Environmental engineering is NOT a major that mainly tests developed technologies (from Chemistry and Materials majors) in an environmental matrix, because many such technologies are not initially targeted to solve environmental problems, because upstream technology developement is much more exciting than downstream testing, and because not every "new technology" is worth testing in environmental matrix before it is truly ready for engineering application. Engineering and science promote each other, and true innovation is always necessary and exciting. Environmental engineering solves the most complicated problems, and the difficulty level is much higher than bench top studies and flask reactions. Hence, systematically learning fundamental science, knowing how to apply them in problem solving, and developing new science from new challenges during the problem solving are essential for environmental engineering.
We do NOT repeat to show we do something "right", we DO research to create something great.