A Natural Problem Solver
At work and in the classroom, Haley Weinstein, E and ME’21, isn’t afraid to tackle big challenges
Haley Weinstein, E and ME’21, electrical engineering, has always had an innate curiosity about topics outside her range of expertise ― along with the work ethic needed to figure them out. “I’ve always looked at devices and wondered how they work,” says Weinstein. “Computers, phones, TVs, and other electronics are fascinating to me.”
A native of Boulder, Colorado, Weinstein decided to turn that curiosity into an engineering career after she spent a summer working as an intern at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
“I loved working in a hands-on manner next to other scientists,” she recalls. “And I chose to study at Northeastern because I could continue that real-world problem-solving approach through co-ops. I wanted more of the kinds of hands-on learning I gained at NIST.”
Weinstein initially chose to study electrical engineering because she was drawn to the problem-solving nature of computational data and analytics. But co-ops at MITRE Corporation and SpaceX have helped sharpen her focus.
“Ultimately my interests are in communications and signal processing, as well as embedded security,” Weinstein explains. “I’ve been working on antenna systems that use satellite communications to bring WiFi anywhere you can see the sky at SpaceX, along with software engineering protocols at MITRE focused on secure communications. As the world becomes more digital, providing people with access to communications is a huge engineering challenge.”
Through Northeastern’s accelerated master’s program, Weinstein is graduating with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering next spring, following five years of study. Her master’s degree is concentrated in signal processing, communications, and control.
“I was able to start taking graduate-level classes during my junior year, which opened up many interesting topics to me,” she notes. “Based on this opportunity to earn an accelerated master’s degree, while also gaining hands-on professional experience at my co-ops, Northeastern has positioned me to get a jump-start on the next phase of my education and my career.”
What does the future hold? “Ultimately I’d like to be a professor and lead a cutting-edge research team,” says Weinstein. “I’d love to work in an academic setting or national lab, where I can focus on the kinds of advanced problems that corporations aren’t investing in yet. I want to work at the edge of a new field and make foundational discoveries.”
In addition to her busy academic and work schedule at Northeastern, Weinstein has served as a tutor for the College of Engineering since 2017. “I really enjoy mentoring younger students and sharing my passion for engineering with them,” she notes. “It means so much that I can connect with younger students and hopefully make a difference for them.”
As a third-year student, Weinstein won the 2019 Husky Startup Challenge, a competition for young entrepreneurs at Northeastern. Once again, she was applying her curiosity to solve a practical problem. A jazz saxophonist throughout high school, she couldn’t find a practice space on campus. In response, she created Diminuendo, a tool that allows musicians to play instruments and sing anywhere, without bothering others. “Diminuendo is still in the prototyping stage, but it’s a compact device that you can carry anywhere,” she explains. ‘It’s the size of a microphone, and it reduces the volume of instruments through active noise cancellation technology.”
“Northeastern’s unique experiential program has allowed me to find my passions,” concludes Weinstein. “The University has given me the opportunity to explore a multitude of different fields and hone my interests. By providing me with over two years of work experience, it has also positioned me very well for my future.”