Graduate Student Spotlight | Ziyang Xie

Ph.D. student Ziyang Xie knew precisely when his passion for engineering began. At the age of five. With toy cars. “I discovered that my fascination lay not only in racing them but also in assembling and modifying them,” recalled Xie. “Also, it didn’t take long for me to learn how to replace engines and make modifications.” This passion for understanding how things worked and how to improve them would take him halfway around the world to study industrial engineering.

After receiving his BS in Automotive Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, Xie Being wanted to attend grad school because it allowed him to learn, understand and create new methods for improving safety and productivity. He knew he wanted to come to the United States but had a limited understanding of the universities in America. “When I got offers, I started to research each university,” said Xie. “NC State was the most cost-efficient, creative and well-reviewed university, so I chose to be here. Of course, I have never doubted this decision in the last five years.”

Xie believes the future holds great potential for an industrial revolution powered by artificial intelligence (AI). He also thinks the ISE Department and NC State are at this exciting field’s forefront. “When I first met with my advisor, Dr. Xu [ISE associate professor], he shared his innovative ideas about using AI to enhance driving and occupational safety,” explained Xie. “I was truly impressed by these ideas and made the decision to work closely with him.” Since beginning his research, he has discovered several other advantages of the ISE Department, including the machine learning expertise of the faculty and the outstanding IT support that allows him to focus on his AI work without getting blocked by technical difficulties. “Justin ensures that we have a smooth experience by resolving any issues or bugs that may arise within our internal systems,” he said.

 What does the future hold for Xie? Since graduating in the spring, he has explored 22 different states. He also works as a machine learning engineer at Nextdoor, where his goal is to leverage his AI knowledge to enhance community communication and safety on a global scale. He realizes that these opportunities and many more are due in part to the ISE Department. “I sincerely appreciate the opportunity ISE offered me, which changed my life,” confided Xie. “I greatly appreciate Dr. Xu and my committee members, who patiently answered my questions. Lastly, thank you, all my friends! Go Pack!”