Dr. Meng Wang (PhD EE 2011)
Most engineering students expect that their education will lead to an interesting career in the field and Meng Wang, a PhD electrical engineering graduate of 2011 is a perfect example of this. Meng is an application engineer in the environmental science department at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and, prior to that role, she was a test engineer at Motorola Solutions.
What does an application engineer do? An application is software for a specialized purpose (for the average person for tasks such as spread sheets and photo editing). Meng thinks of applications as “bridges” to make the best use of computer resources and functions to solve user problems. She says the primary role of an application engineer in the IT industry is to create and use applications to improve a computer’s performance and help a company or organization run more efficiently. Being an application engineer involves deploying a substantial tool kit of skills in coding, program development, product installation and support.
In her current role at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Meng has worked on a wide range of projects. These include developing software applications for the Atmospheric System Research Climate Research Facility at BNL. It also includes implementing and improving algorithms for cloud microphysics computation and cloud radar observations. Meng has also worked on the analysis and visualization of scientific data for various climate research products.
Meng feels that the biggest impact her education in Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) had on her career is that she developed her own problem solving strategy ability through the guidance of her PhD advisor, Professor Alex Doboli, and the support she received from her lab mates. Meng is not afraid of working in a totally different field (Environment Science) at BNL. Her Stony Brook education also provided the essential skills needed to jump-start her career.
Doctoral students work closely with their research advisors. Meng says Professor Doboli always had inspiring research ideas, but also encouraged her to try out her own ideas. He was open-minded while, and at the same time, emphasized the fundamentals. Meng is very grateful that she had him as her advisor.
When asked about feedback for ECE faculty and students based on her work experience, Meng says suggests that students do more presentations in seminars and in other events. Regardless of their career choices, students and alumni need to not only get the job done, but also present their work in a graceful way. The more alumni present themselves, the more attention Stony Brook ECE would get. It’s win-win, she says.