Meet the Professor: Mengying Liu Mengying Liu is an assistant professor of engineering at W&L.
“Mentoring smart students, seeing them grow and having a lifelong relationship is very meaningful to me.”
Mengying Liu joined the Physics and Engineering Department at Washington and Lee University as an assistant professor of engineering this year. Her primary area of interest is the environmental degradation of metallic materials, with specific projects including hydrogen embrittlement of Ni-based alloy and localized corrosion of pure Ni. Liu uses scanning electron microscopy characterization with digital image correlation to dig out the structure-properties relationship.
Currently, Liu is purchasing new equipment to do digital image correlation in 3D. She hopes to correlate materials deformation to their microstructure in 3D and use that information to predict the lifespan of the materials and provide a guide for their application.
Liu completed her undergraduate degree at Tianjin University in China. During her senior year, Liu studied at Virginia Tech for six months to conduct her undergraduate thesis research. She then went to Texas A&M University and earned her doctorate degree in 2021. This fall, Liu will teach Solid Mechanics and the Solid Mechanics Lab at W&L.
What first attracted you to Washington and Lee University?
I like how every faculty and staff member cares about the student’s learning experience. I also really like that W&L students are always curious about new things. I enjoy teaching and mentoring. Being in a liberal arts college like W&L, I feel like my passion for teaching is appreciated by my colleagues and students. Mentoring smart students, seeing them grow and having a lifelong relationship is very meaningful to me.
Aside from teaching, what’s something that you’re passionate about? What do you do for fun?
I’m a foodie! I love everything about food. I love cooking and baking, trying different restaurants and different types of cuisines, taking pictures of dishes and writing reviews for small businesses. I always say cooking and baking are just like doing materials experiments. Using the same ingredients but different ratios, cooking temperatures and durations might lead to completely different dishes. I have been a Yelp Elite reviewer for five years. Writing reviews and uploading pictures for small businesses helps them get more attention and helps customers know what kind of food to expect.
As a student, what was the best piece of advice you were given?
I can’t remember one. Honestly, I was a stubborn “overachiever” and did not take any advice when just attending college. It took me almost 10 years to learn how to listen to others’ advice to better know myself and improve myself.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
I’m training for a marathon right now, so you might randomly catch me running everywhere in the town.
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