Ming Lau

Ming Lau
Senior Manager, California Weapon Systems, Sandia National Laboratories

Education: BS in electrical engineering: University of Missouri-Rolla; MS in electrical engineering: Stanford University; PhD in electrical engineering: Stanford University
What I’m Reading: Into Thin Air by John Krakauer, Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
My Philosophy: Treat others how you want to be treated.
Interests: Active parent volunteer at local high school, distance running, bicycling, and table tennis
Company Headquarters: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Website: www.sandia.gov
Primary Business: National security missions
Annual Revenues: $2.42 billion

What motivated you to choose your field/career path? How did you come by your current position?
I went into engineering because I excelled in math and science. I was motivated to go into electrical engineering because it was known as the most challenging engineering curriculum at our school. I joined Sandia National Laboratories because of the high-caliber staff and the challenging work that it offers. I was promoted into my current position three years ago from being the manager of one of the four departments within the group.

“Given the educational and socioeconomic levels of average Asian Americans, we can and should have a stronger voice in the political system.”

What are the major values of your heritage? How have they helped you in your career?
Two core values of the Asian American heritage are the emphasis in education and the willingness to work hard. Both values I believe influenced my decision to pursue a Ph.D., and consequently, enhanced my qualifications to go into management and eventually applied for the Senior Manager position.

Are there any stereotypes of Asian/Pacific Americans that should be refuted or are incorrect?
There is the stereotype that Asian Americans do not want to stand out or attract attention, hence we are often perceived as not having leadership qualities. Although that might be true for some first-generation Asian Americans who lack good verbal communication skills, this is generally not an issue with native-born Asian Americans. We can and should pursue all types and all levels of responsibilities in the workplace.