Jinglu Tan was and born and raised in Linqu, a hilly and rural area near Weifang in central Shandong Province of China. He went through grade school there during China’s “Cultural Revolution.” The curricula then were irregular and programs abbreviated (to about 10 years for him). He graduated from Linqu First High School in 1974. After working as a farmhand for several months, he took a machinist job at a machinery factory near his hometown, where he picked up different machine tool skills.
In 1976, the factory sponsored him to study at an engineering college that is now part of the Shandong University of Technology. The “Culture Revolution” had just ended, and everything was still abnormal. The Bachelor of Science program was accelerated to three years. He majored in machine manufacturing (or mechanical engineering) and graduated in 1979. He then taught for four years at the same college, first as an assistant lecturer and then as a lecturer. The courses he taught included strength of materials, senior capstone design and technical English. The employment provided him an opportunity to study many subjects he had not had a chance to study as a student.
In 1983, he received a competitive government scholarship to study overseas. After a semester of English training at the Xi’an Language Institute, he began his graduate studies at the University of Alberta in Canada in 1984. Upon completing his Master of Science in agricultural engineering in 1986, he went on to the University of Minnesota for a doctoral program. He completed his doctorate in engineering (mechanical and agricultural) in 1990, with a research focus on compressible-fluid system modeling and control.
Since completing his Ph.D., he has served on the faculty of the University of Missouri. He was an assistant professor from 1990 to 1995, and associate professor from 1996 to 1999. Since 2000, he has been professor and chairman for the Bioengineering Department. Since 2001, he has also been director for the Division of Food Systems & Bioengineering. From 2005-2007, he served as chairman for the Chemical Engineering Department. He has also been director of the Bioprocessing & Biosensing Center since 1997.
Tan teaches in the bioengineering program. The courses he taught include Bioelectronics, Applied Electronic Instrumentation, and Modeling and Identification of Engineering Systems.
His research over the years included thermo-fluid system modeling, vacuum system control, predictive control, food process modeling and control, computer vision applications in food quality evaluation, and fuzzy logic and neural network applications in sensory analysis. His current research includes projects and activities in the following areas: imaging and classification techniques for tissue differentiation, fluorescence-based biosensing and biosystem modeling. He has published more than 150 research papers in professional journals and conference proceedings. He has mentored many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He holds five U.S. patents. He has been a consultant to companies like Alfa Laval, Germania, SRC Vision, Spartan LLC, and Kellogg’s on real-world process control and automation problems. He is an elected fellow of AIMBE (American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering) and editor in chief for Journal of Food Measurement & Characterization published by Springer.
The Tan family has made Columbia, MO their home since 1990. Jinglu and his wife Paula enjoy various social, cultural and sport activities the town offers. Their son Jonathan attended college in California, where he now lives and works.