Electrical engineering student named fall 2022 engineering student marshal

A headshot of a person wearing glasses on a blue background.

Electrical engineering and physics major Lixian Yan has been named the fall 2022 student marshal for the Penn State College of Engineering.

Credit: Provided by Lixian Yan

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Lixian Yan has been named the fall 2022 student marshal for the Penn State College of Engineering. She will receive her bachelor of science with a double major in electrical engineering from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science within the College of Engineering and in physics (electronics option) from the Eberly College of Science.

The commencement ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in the Bryce Jordan Center. During the ceremony, student marshals lead the procession of graduates from their college. The College of Engineering student marshal is selected for their outstanding academic achievement and contributions to engineering student life.

“I felt excited and empowered when I learned that I was selected as the student marshal,” Yan said. “I felt my contribution to this community was acknowledged. One day in the summer, I was reading the honor board on the wall of the electrical engineering department office and dreamed about having my name on it. Now it comes true.”

A graduate of Shimen Middle School in Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China, Yan received several awards, honors and scholarships while at Penn State, including the President Walker Award, the Penn State Abington Physics Award, the President Sparks Award, the Bert Elsbach Scholarship in Physics twice, the James R. Kruest Scholarship in Electrical Engineering, the M. Dean and Jean L. Underwood Scholarship in Physics, and the Eric and Tara Keiter Open Doors Scholarship in the Eberly College of Science. She also was on the dean’s list for all eight semesters and will graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average. 

Yan matriculated at Penn State Abington before transitioning to the University Park campus. While at Penn State Abington, she worked with Patrick Moylan, professor of physics, to reveal the importance of momentum conservation in resolving the controversy over Einstein’s derivation of the mass-energy equivalence. At University Park, Yan studied with Yan Li, assistant professor of electrical engineering, the feasibility of using the Harrow-Hassidim-Lloyd quantum algorithm to solve systems of linear equations. She also joined the research group of Thomas Jackson, Robert E. Kirby Chair Professor of Electrical Engineering. There, she designed thin-film transistor amplifiers for improving the sensitivity of temperature sensors on mirrors of space telescopes like the large ultraviolet optical infrared observatory. 

In 2019, Yan participated in the Global Engagement and Leadership Experience, a three-day conference to build connections with students from around the world and to gain cultural knowledge and skills in working with people from many different backgrounds. She also worked as a peer tutor from 2019 to 2020 in physics, chemistry and math.  

After graduation, Yan plans to work in industry before attending graduate school.