Meet Our Engineers: Maegan Johnson
Maegan Johnson, a Michigan State University graduate, joined the SoarTech team in May 2020 because she was very interested in artificial intelligence (AI) and loved the idea of being able to work at a company focused on the use of AI to solve cutting-edge problems. Her love for engineering began early – her parents called her their “little engineer” because she was always taking things apart and trying to then reassemble them.
“In college I actually started out as an astrophysics/physics major, and didn’t change to computer science until I first discovered programming half way through,” explained Maegan. “I switched majors soon after!”
When posed with why she believes that a human-centered AI solution is key to addressing tough military problems, Maegan thinks the key is the “human-centered” aspect of it.
“Solving problems doesn’t do much good if you can’t get people to understand and trust your solutions, especially in situations where people have already been operating without such solutions/technology for a while,” said Maegan. “I love working with that bridge between the computer brain and the human brain, to help make solutions into a format that is more beneficial than cumbersome.”
The people and the projects are Maegan’s favorite things about working at SoarTech. “By working at the research level, you’re able to be exposed to problems that haven’t necessarily been solved before, and work with technology that’s still quite new,” she said.
She added she’s learning new things every day and solving problems she hasn’t addressed before. “Part of what makes that enjoyable are the other people here. I’ve not encountered a single colleague, at any level of seniority, who wasn’t kind and more than happy to help. All my projects have also valued my input from day one, which makes it easy to feel engaged and involved.”
When Maegan is not busy at SoarTech finding solutions to tough problems, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, as well as their cat and three rabbits! “When I’m not taking care of or playing with them, I like to hike, play video games, and do crafts like crocheting and cross stitching.”