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Eight NTHU Faculty Members Receive Outstanding Research Award for 2015
The Ministry of Science and Technology recently announced the recipients of the Outstanding Research Award for 2015, amongst whom are eight NTHU faculty members: Weileun Fang of the Department of Power Mechanical Engineering; Albert Kong of the Institute of Astronomy; Po-wen Chiu of the Department of Electrical Engineering; Shih-chieh Chang of the Department of Computer Science; Kingman Cheung of the Physics Department; Kuo Chu Hwang of the Department of Chemistry; Andrew Yeh of the Institute of NanoEngineering; and Nyan-hwa Tai of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
 
The followings are brief descriptions of their award-winning accomplishments.
 
Professor Weileun Fang, Department of Power Mechanical Engineering

Professor Weileun Fang, Department of Power Mechanical Engineering

Weileun Fang: Pioneer of the MEMS technologies

 

Prof. Weileun Fang received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses are the design, fabrication, and testing of microsystems. Recently, he concentrates on the development of physical, mechanical, and environmental sensors for the applications of the “Internet of things” and “Industry 4.0”.
 
Prof. Fang is a well-established researcher in the field of MEMS. He is well-known internationally. He serves as chief editor and editor for many prestigious international journals. He also became an IoP Fellow and IEEE Fellow respectively in 2012 and 2015. With the help from Prof. Fang, Taiwan hosted several important international conferences which further enhanced Taiwan’s visibility in the field of MEMS. Moreover, Prof. Fang established the Micro Sensors and Actuators Technology Consortium (uSAT) to support the domestic MEMS companies in 2013.
 
Prof. Fang expressed his appreciation to all members of his research team. He enjoyed working with these talented young researchers to develop many novel and useful micro devices on chip. He thanked the inspiration and many help from his colleagues at Tsing Hua. He also thanked the peers around the world for expanding his horizon. Finally, Prof. Fang expressed his appreciation for all the support and encouragement he has received from his family over the years.
 

 

 

Professor Albert Kong of the Institute of Astronomy

Professor Albert Kong of the Institute of Astronomy

Albert Kong: discoverer of an X-ray flash from a supernova

 

Professor Albert Kong of Institute of Astronomy specializes in high energy astrophysics, and is currently focusing on multi-wavelength observations of black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs.
 
In January 2008 Prof. Kong discovered an X-ray flash from a newly born supernova explosion and confirmed a theory proposed 40 years ago. This remarkable discovery was reported in the journal Nature.
 
Prof. Kong’s research team has played a leading role in using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to explore the high-energy universe, and he has organized a research network to promote gamma-ray astronomy in Asia. Many of his research results have been reported by American, British, and Japanese media.
 
In response to the announcement, Prof. Kong thanked the Ministry of Science and Technology for its encouragement and long-term financial support, as well as NTHU for providing an excellent research environment. He also thanked the students and researchers of his team for their efforts. Finally, he thanks his family for their continuous support which allowed him to concentrate his endeavor on his scientific works.
 

 

 

Professor Po-wen Chiu of the Department of Electrical Engineering

Professor Po-wen Chiu of the Department of Electrical Engineering

Po-wen Chiu:a world-class researcher on Graphene

 

Prof. Po-wen Chiu of the Department of Electrical Engineering completed his bachelor and master degrees at NTHU’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. After earning his doctorate at the Department of Physics of the Technical University of Munich, Germany, he returned to Taiwan and began teaching at the Institute of Electronic Engineering. His research focuses on the physical properties of graphene and low-dimensional semiconductor materials and their applications in electronic components.
 
Prof. Chiu's current research focuses on using the chemical vapor deposition process to develop new ways of producing graphene and two-dimensional materials. Furthermore, he is working on applying graphene technology to the manufacturing of advanced semiconductors and photovoltaic elements, in cooperation with a number of domestic and overseas companies, such as Applied Materials, TSMC, AU Optronics, and Epistar.
 
Prof. Chiu’s research results have been published in various leading journals in the fields of nanotechnology, physics, and chemistry, such as Nature Communication, PRL, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, and Advanced Materials.
 
Upon receiving the award, Prof. Chiu expressed his gratitude for the funding and support provided by NTHU, especially the kind assistance he has received from senior faculty members. He also thanked his family for their long-term encouragement and his enthusiastic research team for their tireless hard work and stimulating ideas.
 

 

Professor Shih-chieh Chang of the Department of Computer Science

Professor Shih-chieh Chang of the Department of Computer Science

Shih-chieh Chang:at the vanguard of chip design

 

After completing his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara in 1994, Dr. Shih-Chieh Chang began working at Synopsys, one of the largest companies in the field. In 2001, he joined NTHU’s Department of Computer Science. Dr. Chang focuses on electronic design automation technology and concentrates on how a Boolean function can be transformed to a logic circuitry so as to enhance circuit efficiency.
 
Through his long-term cooperation with industrial sectors, Dr. Chang has gained extensive understanding of the key issues in chip design. His team has proposed efficient algorithm, circuit architecture and EDA software to tackle environmental and process variation so as to significantly reduce leakage power of an IC chip and therefore, increase the standby time of mobile devices for volume production.
 
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Chang thanked the Department of Computer Science for providing an environment conducive to research and his predecessors for their encouragement and guidance. He also added a special word of thanks to the students in his research team for their invaluable contribution. Finally, he thanked his family for their long-term support.
 
Professor Kingman Cheung of the Physics Department

Professor Kingman Cheung of the Physics Department

Kingman Cheung: leading the search for new particles

 

Prof. Kingman Cheung completed his Ph.D. in physics in 1992 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in August 2003 joined NTHU’s Physics Department. His research focuses on theoretical particle physics and phenomenology, especially their application in colliders.
 
Prof. Cheung has accomplished a great deal in bridging the gap between abstract theory and experimental observation in such areas as high-energy physics, cosmology, and astroparticle physics. He is also working on the development of effective strategies to detect new particles and determining their unique signals in collider experiments.
 
He focuses on the most fundamental questions in physics, i.e., the origin of mass, a grand unified theory of forces, the structure of space-time, and the properties of dark matter. In recognition of his many accomplishments in collider physics and electroweak symmetry breaking, he was elected to the American Physical Society in 2013.
 
Upon receiving the award Prof. Cheung thanked NTHU and the National Center for Theoretical Sciences for providing resources and an excellent research environment. In addition, he thanked his predecessors and colleagues for their understanding, encouragement, and invaluable assistance, especially Professor Tzu-Chiang Yuan of Academia Sinica, Wai-Yee Keung of University of Illinois at Chicago, Jae-Sik Lee of Korea, and Po-Yan Tseng, Chih-Ting Lu and Jung Chang. Without the hard works and contributions of these people, he would not have the present achievements. “This is a real grace of God for His perfect plan.” Finally, he thanked his wife and daughter for their encouragement, support, and companionship.
 

 

Professor Kuo Chu Hwang of the Department of Chemistry

Professor Kuo Chu Hwang of the Department of Chemistry

Professor Kuo Chu Hwang: developing a low-pollution process for nylon precursor

 

After earning his doctorate in Chemistry at Columbia University, Prof. Kuo Chu Hwang completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University in New York and then joined NTHU’s Department of Chemistry. His research interests include the photochemical properties of organic molecules and metal nanomaterials, as well as their applications in photovoltaic and biomedical research. Prof. Hwang has a strong sense of curiosity. He often told his students that "If you don’t know where a problem lies, then you won’t find the answer; knowing the key bottlenecks of a field is the first step in doing good research. " His research results have been published in a number of top journals.
 
Recently Prof. Hwang’s research team developed a new low-pollution method for producing nylon precursor, i.e., adipic acid. Their findings were reported in Science in 2014, marking the beginning of a new green era for the nylon industry. Upon receiving the award, Prof. Hwang thanked NTHU for its generous financial support, the Department of Chemistry for providing research space and equipment, and the Ministry of Science and Technology for providing long-term research funding.
 

 

Professor Andrew Yeh of the Institute of Nano-engineering

Professor Andrew Yeh of the Institute of Nano-engineering

Andrew Yeh: developing the next generation liquid lenses

 

Prof. Andrew Yeh of the Institute of NanoEngineering and MicroSystems completed his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Cornell University in 1999 and began teaching at NTHU in 2001.
 
Prof. Yeh’s main areas of research are liquid zoom lenses, nano-optics, biomedical optoelectronics, and RF components. Amongst the many awards he has received are the National Science Council’s Wu Dayou Memorial Award in 2006, and the National Science Council’s Outstanding Research Award in 2013; in 2014 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
 
In 2010 Prof. Yeh developed the first "dielectric liquid lens," which uses a lens curvature similar to that of the human eye. This lens can photograph an object as close as one centimeter as well as one at a great distance, thus making it suitable for applications such as photo-lens in mobile phones and endoscopes.
 
 
 
Professor Nyan-hwa Tai of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Nyan-hwa Tai of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor Nyan-hwa Tai: Inventor of the magic sponge

 

Prof. Nyan-hwa Tai of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering completed his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware in 1990 and then returned to Taiwan to teach at NTHU. Tai’s research areas cover the preparation and application of a variety of carbon materials, including carbon fiber composite material, carbon composites, ultra nano-crystalline diamond films, carbon nanotubes, and graphene.
 
The “magic sponge” invented by a research team headed by Tai has been found to be highly effective at cleaning up oil spills in the open sea. The magic sponge is the first invention developed in the academe of Taiwan to be uploaded by Google’s Solve for X (SFX) think tank.
 
Prof. Tai expressed his thanks to the Department of Materials Science for providing an excellent research environment, saying that he was especially grateful for all the encouragement and support he has received from friends and colleagues in the field of materials science. He also thanked all the graduate students at his lab for their creativity and enthusiasm for pursuing new knowledge.
 
Prof. Tai also expressed his gratitude and respect for all his teachers over the years. Finally, he said he would like to share the honor with his family, whose care, support, and encouragement have been an integral part of any success he may have had in his professional career.
 

 

 

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