Xiawa (Eva) is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State Behrend.
About her job: Research is my passion, and I am lucky to spend half of my work hours doing research on polymer materials. My overall goal is to design advanced materials that help improve our everyday life. The other half of my work hours are spent as an instructor where I get to pass the knowledge I’ve gained on to the next generation. Knowledge is power and I enjoy helping my students gain information that will be useful to them in the future.
Hometown: Beijing, China.
Why she joined the WEC board: Even though women are a minority in the engineering fields, I have met many outstanding women in the disciplines. They helped and are still helping me through the various stages of my career. Through WEC, I hope to help highlight women’s achievements in STEM fields, and encourage more young women to consider engineering as a career.
Teamwork: I enjoy all aspects of being a professor, including research, teaching, and service, but the most enjoyable part of my work is collaborating with my excellent colleagues at Behrend. The support and encouragement I received from my colleagues go beyond campus. They inspire me to be better in both work and life.
Surprise perk: I enjoy seeing my students achieve their goals. This is something I never thought would bring me as much joy as it does. Seeing a student doing well in my class or helping them understand a concept is much more rewarding than I ever expected.
Most important traits for a professional woman to possess: An “I can” attitude is important. There is no guidebook on how to be successful at work. Yes, there are many people who can give you advice, but you will ultimately have to do the work your way. Trust and believe in yourself.
Words to live by: I heard this phrase when studying material science and have found it to be true: “Materials are like people – it’s their defects that make them interesting.”
Dr. Wu is happy to answer any questions you may have. How to reach her: