Her mentor at the research institute at the time worked closely with Freudenberg Technology Innovation. Full of enthusiasm for the successful collaboration, Li’s awareness of the career opportunities offered by the global technology company grew. Intrigued about Freudenberg, she joined SurTec in 2019 to begin her professional career. With a focus on surface cleaning, coating and characterization, her doctoral thesis was an excellent fit for the Freudenberg subsidiary’s field of expertise.
But what precisely does her current position as a development engineer for industrial parts cleaning involve? “In layman’s terms, I develop ‘special rinsing agents’ for industrial parts that need to be purged from impurities and process adjuvants such as oils, lubricants and release agents,” Li summarizes. For the past two years, in addition to screws and metal sheets, Li’s work has also involved PET. Since joining Freudenberg, she has been in charge of a major project that deals directly with the plastic: “For us as surface experts, PET was new territory for us. But it was important to make a positive contribution to the environment. The project’s goal is to remove dirt from shredded PET, so-called PET flakes, and prepare the flakes for recycling. In this way, we are giving disposable PET beverage bottles a second life, conserving natural resources and avoiding plastic waste.” Li also developed the relevant special cleaners for this purpose.