Hang Yang ’16

Hang YangDEGREES: B.S. in engineering and economics; M.S. in mechanical engineering, Stanford University

JOB TITLE: System integration engineer, Zoox

FAVORITE TRINITY MEMORY: I enjoyed studying and living in the small liberal arts community at Trinity. The close-knit relationships with classmates and research opportunities with professors as an undergrad were the best parts of the academic life. Living on campus and getting involved in the social events were another favorite part of my college life.

What do you do at Zoox? I work on system integration and validation of self-driving cars, making sure the hardware and software work together.

What do you enjoy most about your work? I enjoy solving challenging problems every day by utilizing my engineering expertise and multidisciplinary knowledge. I also enjoy the fact that the work we do has a real purpose—to make transportation easier and to save people’s lives. I think making autonomous mobility a reality is one of the most exciting and revolutionary endeavors of our time.

What are the biggest challenges you face? All the problems we encounter are new and demand innovative solutions. The self-driving car is a highly complex system that requires substantial cross-functional collaboration to make all parts work together.

How did Trinity prepare you for what you do now? Trinity’s liberal arts education prepared me to be a lifelong learner and equipped me with the potential and foundation to develop further in any field I liked. The interdisciplinary mindset and communication skills I gained from my Trinity education have served me greatly in my career.

You participated in summer research on campus. How did that help you reach your goals? I did research on campus for two summers during my time at Trinity, and I’d say the summer research program is one of my favorite parts of the liberal arts education. It provided me with an opportunity to go beyond regular curricula and get involved in cutting-edge research projects with faculty as early as my first year in college. It also helped develop my ability to delve deeper into a given area by consulting literature and conducting experiments. The summer research community and weekly activities made the program even more colorful!

What was the most memorable course you took at Trinity? Why? There were a lot of courses that I enjoyed taking at Trinity and that were memorable. I took classes in engineering, economics, music, swimming, tennis, golf, and more. The first-year seminar “Engineering Our Digital World” probably left the deepest impression on me as that was the first class I took at Trinity, and it led me to the engineering major.

What advice would you give to Trinity students interested in a career in engineering? One piece of advice I can think of is to be a lifelong learner. Our world is changing rapidly, so we need to always make ourselves ready to adapt to the newest technologies. Take advantage of the freedom you have at Trinity in choosing classes, and explore as many of them as you can. Develop your self-learning ability by working on independent projects and engaging in research activities. Developing an interdisciplinary mindset is also beneficial to one’s career in engineering. As technologies are becoming more and more integrated, the boundaries between subjects are more blurred. Being able to think across disciplines is a valuable skill.