Dr. Li-Yan Zhu was born and raised in a rural area in southern China. He spent quite some time chopping firewood in his childhood. He experienced firsthand that as the hills were deforested, it was increasingly more difficult to gather firewood. He also saw that soil erosion, flood, and draught became more frequent and more intense. He read about solar cooking. But he couldn’t find suitable material and tools to make one.
Dr. Li-Yan Zhu immigrated to the United State in 1980, and earned his Ph. D. of mechanical engineering from U.C. Berkeley in 1988. He works for the computer industry in Silicon Valley. He is versed in both theoretical derivation and experimentation.
Dr. Zhu has focused his efforts on developing a parabolic solar cooker that can be used for unattended cooking. He has tried to take the best qualities of box cookers and parabolic cookers and create a cooker that combines both into one design.
Audio and video
- March 2003: Audio interview with Li-Yan Zhu
- Making a Parabolic Reflector Out of a Flat Sheet - Li-Yan Zhu
- A Parabolic Solar Cooker for Unattended Cooking - Li-Yan Zhu and Yun K. Kim
- Robustness of a Reflective Solar Cooker - Li-Yan Zhu and Yun K. Kim
- An Alignment Template for Unattended Solar Cooking - Li-Yan Zhu and Yun K. Kim
- Theories behind a Chinese Reflective Solar Cooker - Li-Yan Zhu