From computer network and security to engineering tools for better quality of life, Cecilia Dong believes that creativity is the key to training next-generation engineers and entrepreneurs—a point she routinely makes to her students.
She challenges students to solve real-world engineering and research problems in her courses, including Signals and Systems, Capstone Senior Design Project courses, Computer Networks, and spatial visualization in the Engineering Career Discovery Course. Dong has mentored her students to collaborate with technology company Quanser to design a mechatronic system of balancing a ball on a 2-D plate. When NYIT students competed to develop applications for Motorola's Golden-i, the world’s first hands-free, wireless headset computer, she was among the faculty members who provided guidance for the project. She engages students in her research and has a number of peer-reviewed publications with her undergraduate and graduate students. In 2015, she received the NYIT Presidential Engagement Award in Student Engagement in Research and Scholarship.
Dong’s recent research and projects have focused on areas including:
- High performance network architecture and sustainable data center networks.
- Network security and forensic
- Geolocation of network devices
- Assistive medical devices - a cross disciplinary collaborative project investigating innovative devices using sensors and wireless networks to assist rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Additionally, she is the principal investigator of the NYIT REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program, funded by a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, which applies to the period of April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2016, with continued funding anticipated for another three years. The NYIT Research Experience for Undergraduates provides an enhanced opportunity for talented and ambitious undergraduate students to collaborate with NYIT faculty and graduate students on today's cutting-edge research. She and her students have presented her research at NYIT's annual Cybersecurity Conference.
In addition to research pursuits, Dong advocates and promotes to increase access to STEM education for women and girls. She serves as a faculty mentor of the NYIT Society of Women Engineers Student Chapter and mentors young girls interested in STEM subjects as part of NYIT's partnership with the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.
It's important to get them exposure of what girls can do at an earlier age, Dong says.
She received her B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1999. She received her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2002 and her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology in January 2008.