News / 8.20.15

#ILookLikeAnEngineer - Yan Weng, PE

Learn how a desire to overcome cultural bias has spurred engineering excellence

Our last Epstein #ILookLikeAnEngineer spotlight star is chief mechanical engineer, Yan Weng, PE. Yan joined Epstein in 2011 and now has over 21 years of mechanical engineering expertise in designing HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, lab and medical systems for civic, healthcare, commercial, industrial, residential, and educational facilities. At Epstein, Yan has been our lead mechanical engineer on projects like the replacement of the High Temperature Water Generators at O'Hare as well as a new yogurt processing facility for Alpina in Batavia, New York. Continue reading to learn why Yan became an engineer, if she had any women mentors and what she thinks are the biggest challenges to becoming a women engineer.

Why did you want to become an engineer?
I think I was influenced by my father who taught mechanical engineering. And I also love being presented with a problem and then designing something that provides a solution. Doing that make me happy.

Did you have any women mentors?
No. I do have women co-workers, but I've always lacked women work mentors. However, my first math teacher at college was a female professor so she helped to nurture my engineering talents.

What are the toughest obstacles to overcome being a woman engineer?
Being a Mechanical Engineer with an Asian appearance and accent (Yan moved to the US in 1991 from her native China), I've found that I need to be very good at what I do in order to overcome cultural bias and win the trust and support of my clients, consultants and collaborators. Sometimes I do feel lonely when I'm working at project site as the only woman with a hardhat, but, at the same time, it makes me proud of myself as well!