Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Jenny Wang

Design Engineer

Materials Science Division

August 18, 2020

What do you like about working at the Lab?

I am constantly working on new projects and learning new skills, so I don’t ever see myself becoming bored at work. There are so many different things I can learn while working on various projects, and there are so many great people that are always willing to help.

What do your day-to-day work activities include?

My day-to-day work activities are split among designing new or modifying existing parts in CAD, building/testing new assemblies, occasional lab work, and communicating with scientists, engineers, and machinists to discuss the best way to reach a given goal.

What is one project you’re really proud to have worked on?

I am really proud to have worked on designing what we now refer to as the MICRO (Multi-material Inspection for Closed-loop Rapid Optimization) Sensor. The MICRO Sensor is used for direct ink writing to obtain non-destructive material and part qualification data during the printing process. The sensor measures the exact composition of extruded inks for multi-material prints and provides the ability to actively feedback information to correct any errors in the system, guaranteeing the successful functionality and desired properties of printed products.

This work lead to my first Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program project as a principal investigator, my first R&D 100 entry (2018 finalists), and working with my first summer intern. This project really pushed me out of my comfort zone while learning new technical, leadership, and project management skills.

What is your educational or career background?

I received my BSc in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Soon after graduation, I joined the Lab as a post-college appointee, and one year later I was converted to a staff scientist.

What inspired you to go into science?

My dad researched dark matter physics at UCLA, and he used to bring me to work with him almost every winter, spring, and summer break. I would spend my time following him around the lab watching him design, machine, build, and test his experimental equipment (much like I do now). Being in his various labs, surrounded by computers and equipment, felt like a second home to me. I never expected to go into research, but looking back at my childhood experiences, it makes total sense.

What advice would you give to a new employee at the Lab?

Find as many resources as you can, make friends, ask questions, and join some networking groups!

What do you do in your free time?

I have a lot of hobbies... Sourdough baking, making DIY furniture, powerlifting, hiking, watercoloring, crocheting, etc. My two favorite hobbies are cooking and vegetable gardening. Everyone who knows me, knows I am obsessed with cooking, eating, sharing, and talking about food (all cuisines). I always had an interest in gardening, but it wasn’t until I joined the Lab’s Organic Gardening Networking Group that I became OBSESSED. Don’t ever ask me about food or gardens unless you want to have a week-long conversation with me!

Are you a member of any employee networking groups?

I’m a member of the Asian Pacific American Council and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Women’s Association.