2021 Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Dr. Mei-Chin Tsai
Mei-Chin Tsai

Since earning her PhD from Illinois Computer Science in 1994, Mei-Chin Tsai (PhD CS ‘94 ) built a career at Microsoft for more than 25 years. A recognized leader in  building highly performant, reliable, and scalable cloud services, Mei-Chin currently leads a large-scale cloud infrastructure as a Principal Group Engineer Manager. Her Cosmos DB Frontend team includes more than 30 engineers to manage requests for Cosmos DB, which is a highly available, high throughput, low latency and large-scale NoSql distributed cloud service.

Mei-Chin’s current position came from a proven ability to build, retain and motivate teams at Microsoft, while also delivering business impact. She has grown talent while fostering an inclusive and diverse environment. Mei-Chin is also an expert in language implementation and architecting managed runtime. She has a proven record of defining and shipping large scale software in wide-spread use.

She is an industry leader with a track record of multiple talks in key conferences – such as QCon 2018, Java Language Summit 2019, FODSEM 2019, and ISCA 2019. She also co-hosted "Runtimes in the Cloud,” a tutorial track on academic conferences such as ISCA and HPCA. Throughout her professional efforts, Mei-Chin has remained dedicated to mentoring others at work and as a Grainger Engineering mentor.

She also generously established the Chan-Tsai Scholarship in 2015 with her husband, Chuck Chan, to provide financial assistance to deserving undergraduate students at Illinois CS.