M.Eng.ME degree gives boost to alumna's Boeing career

3/11/2020 Stefanie Anderson

Written by Stefanie Anderson

Erin Sangsomwong in front of a Boeing 737.
Erin Sangsomwong in front of a Boeing 737.

Alumna Erin Sangsomwong landed her dream job at Boeing after graduating with her BSME from Iowa State University in 2016. She works in Boeing Defense, Space, and Security as a Systems Integration and Test Engineer, but has previously worked with Boeing Commercial Planes and Boeing Test and Evaluation due to her skills being applicable to a wide variety of programs.

Working in the development realm, she helps define program requirements, ensures product qualification, and plans testing at the early stages of a product’s design. She said she enjoys being involved in the early conception of new products and testing of these ideas to see if they will work as intended.

Sangsomwong initially assumed that after her undergraduate studies she would have a major decision to make – pursue a master’s degree or a full-time job. When she discovered that she could do both, she said, she was ecstatic. Through the support of Boeing’s Employee Learning Together Program, she was able to continue working full-time while also earning a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering (M.Eng.ME) online from the University of Illinois.

Sangsomwong completed the program in two years and graduated in 2018. Her favorite professor was Nick Glumac, who taught ME 501 Combustion Fundamentals. While she enjoyed many of her classes and found the content to be applicable to her career, she particularly enjoyed the engineering professional classes, such as Innovation and Strategy (TE 450) and Startup IP (TE 565).

“The engineering professional classes gave valuable insight into how a company is established, how it protects its assets, and how finances are handled. This allowed me a different viewpoint to look at aspects of my own job and help support innovation better,” she said.

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This story was published March 11, 2020.