Mingxi Zheng

Class of 2015 
Materials Science and Engineering

When did you know that you wanted to become an engineer? During my freshman year of college, I was in a lecture when my pen broke, and I became more concerned dismantling and fixing the pen rather than just using a different one. At that point, I decided that engineering was probably a good major for me.

Mingxi ZhengMingxi Zheng (Photo by Preston Davis)What are you working on? I’m currently continuing an internship for a biotech startup that’s working toward creating a more sustainable alternative to traditional fibers and polymers for the textile market. I’ve been working with the company in R&D, as well as in product development discussions with the world’s leading performance apparel and consumer good brands. We expect our fibers to be available in consumer products in the next few years.

What else do you do? This upcoming school year, I’ll be serving as the president of the Materials Science and Engineering Association (MSEA). The student population of the MSE department has been growing every year, and MSEA is aiming to maintain a strong community within our department by offering academic, social and professional resources. Outside of school, I enjoy drawing and have been training to run the Berkeley Half Marathon.

What do you like most about Berkeley Engineering? Something I’ve always appreciated here is the supportive and motivational atmosphere. I especially value the community within MSE, since it is one of the smaller departments on campus, and I’ve been able to get to know my professors and other students really well.

Why did you get involved with Girls in Engineering? Both of my parents have science backgrounds, so I was lucky to grow up with that exposure. But many girls aren’t so lucky, and they don’t see engineering as a career option. GIE provides the resources and, most importantly, the role models that young girls need to engage in engineering fields.

Describe a memorable “aha!” moment you’ve had while at Berkeley Engineering. I was reviewing my notes for an exam, and when I tried searching for more information about a specific method, I found that the professor who had taught me the method was the one who developed it! And that it was still one of the most widely used models of analysis in that field. It made me realize how lucky I was to be taught by professors who are leaders in their professions.