The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

two Asian students with award plaque in hands smiling

Written by Derek Tran, a fourth year BS/MS track of Mechanical Engineering.

About me

Derek Tran is a fourth year student on the BS/MS track of Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Mechanics and Design. Derek has completed co-ops at Siemens Healthcare, Biorad and is now on his 3rd co-op at Desktop Metal. He is currently the Co-president of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers chapter and has been heavily involved since freshman year. Derek enjoys learning new things and taking on new challenges, from learning new practical skills or taking up hiking as a hobby.

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers

The Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers is a national non-profit organization that provides resources for professionals of Asian Heritage to succeed in the global industry. This can be in the form of community outreach programs, networking sessions with companies and leadership opportunities.

The Northeastern University SASE (NU SASE) chapter, specifically, was founded in 2013 and has continued its commitment towards professionalism, diversity and service since then. The chapter strives to create opportunities for Asian American scientists and engineers to succeed through providing professionalism development in the form of technical workshops, resume reviews and company sponsored events. There is a strong focus at NU SASE to create a community of close-knit individuals interested in STEM. This is fostered through social events, upperclassman and underclassmen mixers and our mentorship program, SASEpals. With this focus, new members are more willing and inclined to step out of their comfort zones to attend professional events.

I joined SASE during my freshman year when it was still a relatively new organization with a goal towards providing opportunities for Asian Americans to strive in their respective STEM fields. I became involved as the Freshman Representative that year, helping to plan a workshop for a regional conference as well as work on general body meetings. That semester on e-board exposed me to this passionate community of Asian scientists and engineers. From there, I have held multiple positions on the executive board. During my sophomore year, I was the Public Relations Officer for the club and the Logistics Chair of the Northeast Regional Conference Committee who was in charge of planning the 2016 SASE Northeast Regional Conference. As the logistics chair, I was in charge of selecting venues, planning the day schedule, and coordinating all operations the day of the event. During my third year, I was the Treasurer where I managed club finances and planned trips to both Regional and National Conferences for our members. I am now the Co-president of the chapter where I helped create sustainability plans for the organization, funding guidelines, strengthened alumni relationships and planned new events.

My involvement in SASE and the experiences that I had over the last few years in the organization have helped me grow as a leader and forced me to step out of my comfort zone. It had thrust me out of my comfort zone countless times, whether it was talking to companies, working with vendors or effectively leading a team through high pressure situations. Being part of SASE during my time here has helped me realize that I love guiding others and fostering their development. I would not be the person I am today without SASE. The connections, lessons and friendships I have made are truly invaluable.

I am extremely proud to have been a part of SASE’s journey at Northeastern and it has truly been the most defining moment so far in my college career. I was able to see it grow from a young organization to one with a clear goal in mind and a strong community behind it. Each person that I have worked with on the eboard over the years are deeply committed to SASE’s mission and strive to guide the younger generation along the same path. I want to sincerely thank all of them for their devotion towards SASE and I am excited to see what plans the next generation of leaders have in store.

Interested in joining NU SASE? Email us at to join the newsletter list or like our Facebook page at

Related Departments:Mechanical & Industrial Engineering