ECE graduate students share experience from Rising Stars 2022 Workshop
Illinois ECE graduate students Liuqing Gao and Mingye Irene Xiong were among the 85 invited young women engineers and computer scientists worldwide who participated in the Rising Stars 2022 academic workshop held at the University of Texas at Austin from October 27-28.
For its tenth year, Rising Stars provided graduate students and post-docs with historically marginalized or underrepresented genders with opportunities for mentoring and practical information they need to launch and sustain a successful academic career in electrical engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence and decision-making.
"I gained a deeper understanding of the faculty position from the workshop's diverse viewpoints, including those of junior and senior faculty, the search committee, and department chairs," said Gao. "This enables me to better understand the skills needed for the role of a faculty member and prepare myself."
Gao's research lies in the field of electromagnetic passive devices, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) for radiofrequency applications and signal processing functions. In her PhD thesis work, Gao demonstrates a hybrid filter co-designs acoustic and EM structure to mark the MEMS acoustic filter with the widest bandwidth at a frequency beyond 10 GHz. This hybrid filter provides a solution to exceed the limitations faced by the state-of-the-art acoustic filters and shows great potential for 5G mobile communications. Gao is advised by ECE Associate Professor Songbin Gong.
Polina Golland, a professor at MIT, gave the keynote address on demystifying the steps of applying and interviewing for a faculty position
"This workshop unveils the job search process as well as the life of being a professional, which helps me to get prepared for the upcoming transition after graduation," said Xiong. "In the job-talk session of this workshop, I learned about participants’ research work in the broad EECS field, which was very inspiring to me to look into more interdisciplinary research in the future."
Xiong's research interest lies in the theory and simulation of nanoscale electronic devices, nanopores for biomolecule detection and manipulation, and the properties of sub-nano-porous solid-state membranes in the ionic environment.
Rising Stars’ participants also presented their research to fellow students, industry attendees, and faculty which enabled participants to hone their communication skills.
"The workshop is a fantastic opportunity to meet peers and predecessors that are (were) going through the same process," said Xiong. "I enjoyed most talking to the speakers and other participants to know them as people beyond their achievements and publications."
"I gained a deeper understanding of the faculty position from the workshop's diverse viewpoints, including those of junior and senior faculty, the search committee, and department chairs," added Gao. "This enables me to better understand the skills needed for the role of a faculty member and prepare myself."