Boeing engineer and University of Arizona mechanical engineering alumnus Tony Torng was named Asian American Engineer of the Year in March 2012 by the Chinese Institute of Engineers USA for his nationally recognized work in defense, space and security systems.
Torng, a Boeing Technical Fellow since 2008 who has worked for Boeing for 18 years, currently works as a networks and space systems engineer for the company's Defense, Space & Security unit in Huntington Beach, Calif.
He received the award during the Asian American Engineer of the Year award ceremony in Albuquerque, N.M., for his expertise in the development of computational engineering tools in probabilistic reliability related technologies.
Torng is a team leader in his division and has helped develop government proposals, including a winning effort to secure a multimillion-dollar U.S. Air Force contract.
"It is a great honor for me to receive this prestigious award," Torng said. "I am very proud to represent the many innovative people at Boeing." Arizona Engineer had a few questions for him.
How has your UA education benefitted you?
The knowledge I gained during my studies at UA has served as the cornerstone of my career. In particular, I learned a lot from Professor Paul Wirsching and his guidance. He taught me not only how to study technical areas but also how to apply my studies so I could become a good engineer.
What are your favorite memories from your time at UA?
My time as a research associate for Professor Wirsching, especially when we worked together to solve a complex problem. It feels so good when you finally solve a problem and also learn a lot from the process.
UA Tell us something about yourself that people might be surprised to learn.
My older son was born during the second semester of my doctorate studies. Yes, it was not an easy task to take care of the baby while I was at school. I thank my wife for bearing most of the weight in taking care of the baby. I still remember that my son got sick several times so we decided that my wife would take care of him in the morning and I took care of him when I studied at night after my wife went to sleep.
How did you come about attending the UA?
I learned about UA from a reputable learning center in Taiwan. They told me UA was an excellent engineering school and that the school had a lot of opportunities to apply for teaching or research assistant opportunities. I think both factors attracted me to the school and I am very happy to confirm what they told me was true!
Tell us about your hobbies and pastimes.
In the past, I loved playing tennis but now I love swimming more because it is not so intense! I love to vacation with family, including visits to museums and other culturally significant locations. I also volunteer a lot of my time to various community organizations, including commissioners for the city, friends of the library, and the Chinese American Association.
What are your hopes for the future of UA?
I hope UA will continue to grow as an excellent school, especially in engineering. To become excellent – in addition to the school's efforts – I hope every student who graduates from UA continues their support by donating money back to the school. I think it is the least we can do as alums to support our school.
Describe something remarkable or noteworthy you experienced here.
I still remember when in 1988 UA's basketball team went into the Final Four! I closely followed the NBA careers of both Steve Kerr and Sean Elliot, and I got a signature from Elliot when I met him in the cafeteria. I knew he would become a superstar in NBA and I was right!
What else would you like readers to know?
I think it is important for all of us to become a mentor or be mentored. When you are mentored, you learn a lot from your mentor on how to perform your tasks in your profession. No matter if you are still in school or already a working professional, you should find a good mentor or two. As a mentor, you will not only help others but also learn from the experience and learn to look at problems from different angles. The more you mentor, the more you learn.
Calling UA Engineering Alumni!
Where has life taken you since graduation? We’d like to know and so would your former engineering classmates.
Please email us and include the following information:
• Name and year you graduated
• Major and degree (BS, MS, PhD, etc.)
• Details of your activities
Don’t forget to include a digital picture of your family, latest project at work, or that boat or hot rod you just finished building in your garage. Vacation photos are great, too. We’ll publish your news and photos online and in the next print edition.
Please send your e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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