A man stands in front of a marina.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Lennon Luo

Categories: Research, Students

Chemistry Graduate Student Lennon Luo describes his research and answers 20 random questions as part of the Graduate Student Spotlight series.

Lennon Luo is originally from Shenzhen, China, but spent his formative years in Singapore. He did his undergraduate studies at Caltech, where he developed his passion for Chemistry from working on olefin metathesis catalysts and their applications. Lennon is currently a fifth-year graduate student in the Swager group, developing novel functional carbon nanomaterials for applications in chemical sensing and catalysis. In particular, Lennon has helped develop a series of selective chemiresistive sensors for gases such as ethylene, methane, benzene and hydrogen sulfide that are of importance to the environment and safety. Lennon has also worked on developing new carbon-based electrocatalysts as sustainable energy materials.

As the subject of this month’s Graduate Student Spotlight, Lennon shares the small museum he’d open with a $5M budget, the movies that make him laugh consistently, the food he craves most often, and more!

  1. If you were given five million dollars to open a small museum, what kind of museum would you create?
    A kind that keeps items that hold people’s cherished memories, regardless of the monetary value.
  2. If you were on a 27 hour flight and could only watch one movie, what would it be?
    Empire (1964) by Andy Warhol which consists of eight hours and five minutes of slow-motion footage of an unchanging view of the Empire State Building.
  3. What’s worth spending more on to get the best?
    Lie-flat seat for transpacific flights – it’s worth every penny.
  4. What is special about the place you grew up?
    My hometown has been developing at a rate that I cannot cope with – I felt like a tourist every time I traveled back home.
  5. What did you think you would grow out of but haven’t?
    Lame pun jokes.
  6. If you could have a never-ending candle that smelled like anything you wanted, what fragrance would you want it to be?
    The smell of freshly cooked dinner.
  7. If someone narrated your life, who would you want to be the narrator?
    Siri or Alexa.
  8. If animals could talk, which animal do you think would be the most annoying, and why?
    Mockingbirds as their name suggests.
  9. If you could pick any career other than the one you’ve chosen, what would it be?
    Probably a chef.
  10. What movie, picture, or video always makes you laugh no matter how often you watch it?
    Movies by Stephen Chow and Ng Man-tat.
  11. If money and practicality weren’t a problem, what would be the most interesting way to get around town?
  12. What food do you crave most often?
    Chilli crab.
  13. What are you most looking forward to in the next decade?
    World peace.
  14. What fictional characters have you had a crush on over the years?
    Ai Haibara from Detective Conan.
  15. What’s something common from your childhood that will seem strange to future generations?
    Running hand columns?
  16. What are your top three favorite movies?
    Ghost in the Shell (1995), The Wasted Times (2016) and Interstellar (2014).
  17. Who is the most famous person you have met?
    Charlie Munger.
  18. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
    A trip to Gallifrey with the Doctor.
  19. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
  20. Where was the most amazing sunset you have ever seen?
    Sunset over the Caribbean Sea.

Many thanks to Lennon for these thoughtful answers! Stay tuned for more Graduate Student Spotlights in the months to come!