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In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are recognizing the first 20 Asian American men and women (10 in each category) elected to the National Academy of Engineering. They distinguished themselves in business and academic management, in technical positions, as university faculty, and as leaders in government and private engineering organizations. In addition to their pioneering technical contributions, they are models of integrity, diligence, and academic rigor. By their example and through their active mentoring, they have opened the path for success for many others. We are pleased to celebrate them.
Ven Te Chow (1919-81)
NAE election: 1973; citation: “Developments in hydrological analysis, stochastic hydrology, water resources systems analysis, and watershed hydraulics.”
A noted professor of civil and hydrosystems engi¬neering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ven Te Chow was recognized throughout the world for his contributions to the science of hydrology and to water resources development.
Born in Hangchow, China, on October 7, 1919, he received his BS degree in civil engineering from the National Chiao Tung University in 1940, his MS degree in engi¬neering mechanics from Pennsylvania State University in 1948, and his PhD in hydraulic engineering from the University of Illinois in 1950. He joined the faculty of the UIUC Department of Civil Engineering in 1948 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1962.
Chow's noteworthy contributions include his watershed experimentation system, which produced storms in the laboratory using sophisticated electronic, pneumatic, and sonar controls. The instrument attracted worldwide attention and interest among scientists, engineers, and the public. It was featured in the March 1969 issue of Public Works magazine and was even the subject of an article in Life magazine (June 6, 1969).
With this unique instrumentation, Chow introduced a new field known as watershed hydraulics. He also developed a formula for hydrologic frequency drainage design, a method of backwater curve computation, and widely used theoretical approaches in stochastic hydrology and water resources systems analysis.
He was a consultant and lecturer to governmental, university, and private organi¬zations around the world, and author of several well-known books, including the popular Handbook of Applied Hydrology and Open-Channel Hydraulics, and more than 200 other technical publications. He was also a founder and first president of the International Water Resources Association, president of the American Geophysical Union’s Section of Hydrology, and a founder of and delegate to the Universities Council on Water Resources.
Chow received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his considerable achievements. In addition to the NAE, he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Sinica; fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Academy of Mechanics; and diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers. He received the Epstein Award, the American Society of Civil Engineers Research Prize, and the Achievement Award of the Chinese Institute of Engineers. He was a National Science Foundation Distinguished Scholar and an honorary mem¬ber of the Asociación Mexicana de Hidráulica.
Rustum Roy (1924–2010)
NAE election: 1973; citation: “Contributions to the development of the modern science and technology of non-metallic materials.”
Rustum Roy was not only one of the world’s leading materials scientists but also a major moving force in national and international science policy and in constructive interactions in science, technology, and religion. A strong advocate of interdisciplinary and integrative learning, he was a brilliant teacher and an inspiration to many seeking change to benefit humanity.
He was born in Ranchi Bihar province in India on July 3, 1924. The family was very well connected, and an early meeting with Mahatma Gandhi left a deep and lasting influence on Roy, spurring his lifelong dedication to molding scientific endeavor to benefit the needs of society.
He took a Cambridge School Certificate from Saint Paul’s School Darjeeling, then a bachelor’s (with honors) and master’s in chemistry at Patna University in 1944, followed by a PhD in ceramic science from Pennsylvania State University in 1948. He joined the Penn State faculty as a research associate in 1950 and by 1957 was a full professor of geochemistry. In 1962 he founded the Materials Research Laboratory at Penn State, the first in the country without block grant support. In 1981 he was named an Evan Pugh Professor, the highest academic title the university can bestow.
Roy was a major innovator in new materials synthesis techniques. Starting in 1948 he devised what is now called the sol-gel process for making pure nanoscale reactive powders for many important ceramic compositions. Originally devised for making ultrahomogeneous materials, the process was shown to be adaptable to making maximally heterogeneous nanocomposites with exciting properties.
A second major area, developed with his colleague O.F. Tuttle, was hydrothermal processing for materials synthesis and crystal growth. Roy focused on materials applications and Tuttle on geological applications.
A third area of immense practical importance was microwave electromagnetic processing. For the first time, using single-mode cavities Roy’s group clearly demonstrated the amazing differences generated by pure E and H microwave fields, with major consequences for proper theoretical understanding.
Roy probably holds the unofficial record for the synthesis of more new ceramic materials than anyone else. He trained and “exported” several generations of students with outstanding crystal chemical backgrounds, and his class notes, never published, have been reproduced and used worldwide.
Although a practicing scientist for 65 years, Roy’s life work defied any professional label: he was dedicated to breaking artificial boundaries in order to integrate science, religion, education, health, art, and social action for human benefit.
Fujio Matsuda (1924–2020)
NAE election: 1974; citation: “Leadership in the development and operation of a state-wide transportation system.”
Fujio Matsuda was born October 18, 1924, in Honolulu to parents who had emigrated from Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan. He grew up in Kakaʻako and remained proud of his roots there.
He began studies at the University of Hawai'i (UH) in 1942, but in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor enlisted in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the US Army. Eventually, he was assigned to the 291st Field Artillery Observation Battalion and shipped to France and northern Germany. Staff Sargent Matsuda was awarded the Bronze Star, and later said his experiences in the war solidified core values about human relationships that guided him through life.
After his tour of duty he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute, Indiana, under the GI Bill. He and his wife relocated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he earned a PhD in structural engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952 and continued as a research engineer. After a 2-year research position at the University of Illinois, the family returned to Honolulu in late 1955. From 1956 to 1962, through Hawai'i’s transition to statehood, Matsuda cofounded the civil engineering firm SMS Engineers and became a professor of civil engineering at the University of Hawai'i, eventually serving as department chair.
In 1962 Governor John A. Burns asked Matsuda, at age 38, to serve as director of the State Department of Transportation. During his decade in that position, he directed a large expansion of state highways, airports, and harbors.
In 1973 UH President Harlan Cleveland asked Matsuda to return to the university as vice president of business affairs. In 1974, after Cleveland’s resignation, the board of regents appointed Matsuda the ninth president of the university. He was the first and only UH president of Asian descent and the first Asian-American president of a major US university. Under his leadership, the first systemwide strategic plan was developed, and the East-West Center was separated from the university.
Matsuda left UH in 1984 to become executive director of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai'i, a position in which he served until 1994. He finally retired in 1996, after 2 years as president of the Japan America Institute of Management Science, and went on to serve on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including for the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. In 2004 he was honored as a Living Treasure of Hawai'i
Ernest Shiu-Jen Kuh (1928–2015)
NAE election: 1975; citation: “Contributions to circuit and system theory.”
Ernest Shiu-Jen Kuh joined the faculty of the University of California–Berkeley College of Engineering in 1956 and made pioneering contributions in active and passive circuit theory, electronic design automation of integrated circuits, and engineering education. He was chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (1968–72) and then dean of the College of Engineering (1973–80). At the time of his retirement in 1992 he held the William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair.
He was born October 2, 1928, in Beijing. With the political instability in the region prior to World War II, the family moved frequently, eventually to Shanghai in 1937. In 1947 Kuh left China, on a slow ocean freighter, to continue his education in the United States. He received his BS from the University of Michigan in 1949 and the next year, at MIT, his master’s degree, both in electrical engineering. At MIT he met circuit theorist Charles Desoer and the two became frequent collaborators.
He earned a PhD in network theory at Stanford in 1952 and saw his thesis published in the Journal of Applied Physics.
He promptly went to work for Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. He was the second Chinese employee there. He worked in the transmission development division on issues related to telephone infrastructure, specifically transmission repeater designs and submarine cable design. His work was incorporated in the first transatlantic telephone cable, laid in 1956.
By 1966, now at UC Berkeley, Kuh was working with Desoer on what became a widely used book, Basic Circuit Theory (McGraw-Hill), when he was asked to head the Electrical Engineering Department, which had recently integrated computer science. In 1968 he was appointed chair of the EECS Department, which under his leadership explored new domains of research, including bioelectronics, paving the way for the future bioengineering department.
While on sabbatical in Japan in 1977–78, Kuh took up the emerging field of electronic design automation (EDA) and in 1980 decided to step down from the dean’s position to focus on EDA research. His work laid the intellectual foundations for computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
He authored or coauthored six textbooks and several hundred research papers, and delivered countless technical talks and presentations.
Throughout his academic career, Kuh worked to recruit and retain more women and people of color in the engineering program, and mentored several generations of graduate students. In total he supervised 40 PhD students, who today occupy leadership positions in academia and industry. He and his wife Bettine endowed the Ernest S. Kuh Distinguished Lecture Series to bring notable scientists and engineers to the UCB campus.
He was also a sought-after advisor and consultant for numerous companies and organizations. He held leadership positions on committees for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Science Foundation Advisory Committee. For an NRC study on engineering research, he served on the Panel on Information, Communications, Computation, & Control Systems Research (1984–85) and he was a member of the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (1979–81).
His impact on engineering education and the field of electrical engineering was recognized through awards including the 1996 C&C Prize of the Japan Society for Promotion of Communication and Computers, the 1998 Phil Kaufman Award given by the Electronic Design Automation Consortium, and the IEEE Centennial and Millennium Medals
Thomas H. Lee (1923–2001)
NAE election: 1975; citation: “Leadership in better understanding and the advancement of high power switching devices through physics and engineering.”
Thomas Lee was a founder of the Center for Quality Management (CQM), a professor at MIT, and a pioneer in developing modern management techniques.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1946 from Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. He was getting training in the United States when political unrest began in China. He and his wife chose to remain in the United States, and, since Lee had worked at General Electric Co. in his native Shanghai, he continued working for the company for the next 30 years. During that time he earned an MS in electrical engineering from Union College in 1950 and a PhD from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute in 1954.
In 1979 he was hired at MIT as a visiting research scientist and the following year joined the electrical engineering faculty. He became the Philip Sporn Professor of Energy Processing in 1982. He was also director of the Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronic Systems and associate director of the Energy Laboratory. He was appointed director of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna in 1984.
In 1989, a year after he retired from MIT, he joined CEOs and senior managers from seven Boston-area companies to found the CQM, where he was president (1990–98) and served on the board of directors. The center’s Cambridge location gave MIT faculty and staff great opportunities participate in important changes in American product design and manufacturing processes. And Lee was instrumental in organizing CQM’s chapter in Shanghai.
With Shoji Shiba and Robert Chapman Wood, he coauthored Integrated Management Systems: A Practical Approach to Transforming Organizations (John Wiley & Sons, 1999). He also studied worldwide anticorruption tactics with Transparency International.
He served on a number of NRC committees, including panels on the Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming (1989–91), the Committee on International Organizations and Programs (1990–93), and the US National Committee for the Pacific Science Association (1989–99; chair, 1992–95).
Ping King (P.K.) Tien (1919-2017)
NAE election: 1975; citation: “Inventor and engineering contributions to microwave amplifiers and integrated optical circuits and devices.”
P.K. Tien earned his bachelor’s degree from National Central University in Taiwan in 1942 and his master’s and doctorate, all in electrical engineering, from Stanford University in 1948 and 1952. He joined Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1952 and was appointed head of the electron physics research department in 1959.
Tien made important contributions in a number of fields in applied physics and electrical engineering. His work enabled advances in traveling-wave tubes and ferromagnetic amplifiers, backward-wave oscillators, noise in parametric devices, multiphoton processes in superconducting tunnel junctions, acoustoelectric interactions in solids, and integrated optics.
He was a pioneering founder of the field of integrated optics, an important adjunct to the field of fiber optics. His profound understanding of coupled electromagnetic waves led him to discover a simple but extremely elegant technique of coupling free space optical propagation modes to the guided modes of optical thin film waveguides. This discovery, which resulted in a “prism-film coupler,” revolutionized experimental investigations of light wave propagation in thin films.
In addition, he explored low-loss materials for passive thin film guides and active devices such as thin film modulators, deflectors, and switches. Through his theoretical study of magnetic fields, he contributed to the realization of low-loss garnet films and birthed the field of magneto-optical phenomena in thin films. He was also instrumental in novel studies of prisms, reflectors, lenses and polarizers for thin film optics.
In addition to the NAE, Tien was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and he was a fellow of IEEE and the Optical Society of America.
He served on the NRC Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships Predoctoral Review Panel on Engineering (1999–2001) and Committee on Microwave Processing of Materials: An Emerging Industrial Technology (1992–94).
Alfredo H-S. Ang (1930-)
NAE election: 1976; citation: “Developer of practical and effective methods of risk and reliability approaches to engineering safety-and-design structural criteria formulation.”
Alfredo Ang is emeritus research professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He has made pioneering contributions to probability-based safety analysis and design applied to a variety of problems in structural engineering. His research on safety criteria has had a major impact on engineering specifications and practice.
Born July 4, 1930, in Davao City, the Philippines, he earned his bachelor of science degree from Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila in 1955 and his master’s degree (1957) and doctorate (1959) in structural engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
During his career at UCI and before that at UIUC he combined academic research and teaching in several aspects of structural mechanics and structural engineering, focusing on structural safety by applying probability and reliability concepts in structural engineering.
He extended his theoretical work to practical problems in seismic hazard analysis, earthquake engineering, wind engineering, offshore structures, and lifecycle cost effectiveness in design criteria development.
As a consultant and technical advisor, he has served numerous government and industry organizations, both in the United States and abroad. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 publications and was senior author on a two-volume textbook, Probability Concepts in Engineering Planning and Design, which has been translated into several languages and adopted by major universities worldwide. An active teacher, he developed both undergraduate and graduate courses in probabilistic methods, lectured extensively, and organized seminars and short courses.
In addition to his NAE membership, Ang is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
He has been very active in the work of the National Academies, with service on two expert task groups of the NRC Committee on the Review of the Long-Term Bridge Performance Program (2012–17), the Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships Predoctoral Review Panel on Engineering (5 times in 2002–08), the Committee to Review the Security Design Criteria of the Interagency Security Committee (2001–03), and the Committee on Marine Structures (1979–85), among others.
Morgan Chuan-Yuan Sze (1916-2015)
NAE election: 1976; citation: “Contributions to the technology of petroleum refining and petrochemical process design and manufacture.”
Morgan C-Y. Sze was born May 27, 1916, in Tianjin, China. He graduated in 1935 from the Peking American School as valedictorian and entered Tsinghua University in Beijing. Unable to complete his studies there because of political unrest, he transferred in 1937 to MIT, where he received his bachelor’s degree (1939) and doctorate (1941), both in chemical engineering.
During a career that included work at DuPont, Hydrocarbon Research, Lummus (where he rose to vice president of research and development), and Wheelabrator-Frye, he authored numerous scientific papers, held some 80 US patents, and became an internationally recognized engineer.
He had an enduring belief in the role of science and technology for the betterment of individuals' lives and society as a whole. He also believed that a broad and deep education offered the best opportunity for a successful life, and that knowledge in one field could lead to insights or discoveries in another. He was deeply appreciative of the opportunity to start a new life in his adoptive country.
King-Sun Fu (1930-85)
NAE election: 1976; citation: “Contributions to pattern recognition in the solution of important societal problems.”
King-Sun Fu was the W.M. Goss Distinguished Professor of Engineering and director of the Intelligent Manufacturing Center at Purdue University, and a pioneer and universally acclaimed leader in the field of syntactic pattern recognition.
He was born in Nanking, China, on October 2, 1930. He received a BS from the National Taiwan University in 1953, an MS from the University of Toronto in 1955, and a PhD from the University of Illinois in 1959, all in electrical engineering.
From the beginning, Fu saw no conflict between basic research and its applications. He believed that if the basic research were sufficiently deep and powerful, it would solve many difficult practical problems. Conversely, he believed that important practical problems would not be successfully solved by ad hoc methods without involving a deep theoretical foundation.
While still in Taiwan, he worked in industry, first at the Taiwan Power Company and later with the Chinese Broadcasting Company. After he received his doctorate, he made the difficult decision to gain further experience by joining the Boeing Airplane Company as a research engineer in 1959. The desire to teach never left him, however, and during the spring of 1960 he taught a course at Seattle University. That fall, he accepted an appointment at Purdue University.
Shortly after Fu's arrival at Purdue, his department head, Thomas F. Jones, suggested that he spend a semester at the Research Laboratory of Electronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That experience marked the initiation of his interest in pattern recognition. On his return to Purdue, his interests expanded to machine intelligence, image processing, computer vision, and expert system development.
Fu was known for his innovative ideas and practical applications of them—for example, the identification and classification of crops from remotely sensed multisectorial data, the detection of irradiated chromosomes, and the computerization of a blood cell classification system. He also developed x-ray techniques for the automatic diagnosis of abnormalities of lungs, heart, liver, and pancreas and the identification and classification of fingerprints. More recently, his methods have been applied to integrated circuit chip and metal surface inspections, both important to industrial automation.
He published more than 300 papers and four books and was the founding editor of IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. He was also a visiting professor at Stanford University as a Guggenheim fellow and a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley. He supervised 75 PhD students who now hold positions of leadership in industry and academia.
For his contributions, Fu received numerous honors, including the American Society for Engineering Education Senior Research Award (1981), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Education Medal (1982), and the Harry Goode Memorial Award from the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (1982).
He served on the NRC Panel on Discriminant Analysis, Classification and Clustering (1981–85).
Chang-Lin Tien (1935–2002)
NAE election: 1976; citation: “Contributions to the theory of heat transfer and for its application to difficult contemporary engineering problems.”
Chang-Lin Tien was chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley and a world leader in heat transfer and thermodynamics. He was a visionary who identified new, critical fields and then conducted pioneering research in those disciplines, elucidating essential elements and phenomena and important applications of his research. He was also an enthusiastic educator and leader.
Born in Wuhan on July 24, 1935, he was a high school student in Shanghai when he followed his family to Taiwan in 1949 to escape civil war in China. He received his bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University in 1955 and, after a year of military service, came to the United States, where he earned his master’s degree from the University of Louisville (1957) and doctorate from Princeton University (1959), both in mechanical engineering.
He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1959 as an assistant professor and became full professor in 1968. He rose to become chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1974–81) and vice chancellor of research (1983–85). He left UCB briefly to accept appointment as executive vice chancellor at UC Irvine (1988–90), and returned to serve as chancellor (1990–97), the first Asian scholar appointed to the top position of a major US research university.
As one of the first investigators of heat transfer to focus on thermal radiation in gases, Tien provided a basis for quantifying the infrared radiation properties of gases and for generalizing these properties so that gases could be characterized in terms of fundamental variables, thus providing a foundation for current engineering approaches. He also made significant contributions to the understanding and determination of radiation transport in solids in the form of particulates and surfaces and was the first to provide a sound theoretical basis for determining dependent scattering
In addition, Tien made pioneering contributions in microscale thermal phenomena—phonon transport in nanostructures and semiconductor superlattices, non-Fourier heat conduction in thin films, femtosecond laser interactions with thin films and micromechanical structures, heat transport in random media, picosecond optical properties of porous silicon, and microscale laser interactions with liquids. His efforts in research, the supervision of students and postdoctoral scholars, and the founding of a new journal, Microscale Thermophysical Engineering all changed the field and led to the new discipline of microscale heat transfer. He coauthored, with John Lienhard, the textbook Statistical Thermodynamics, edited 16 volumes, and published more than 300 research papers and monographs
He received numerous honors. In 1962 he became the youngest professor to win Berkeley’s prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2001 he was awarded the NAE Founders Medal. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the Academia Sinica, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The asteroid Tienchanglin, discovered by the Zi Jin Mountain Observatory in China, was named for him in 1999.
He was an unofficial “ambassador” to many countries, especially in Asia, in terms of public service. He was a member of the board of trustees of the Asian Foundation, advisor to the governor of Hong Kong, chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Economic Forum, and a member of the board of directors of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and of the Aspen Institute Domestic Strategy Group.
He was elected a member of the NAE Council (1998–2001) and served on NAE membership committees, among others.
Uma Chowdhry (1947–)
NAE election: 1996; citation: “For application of advanced ceramic technologies to novel catalyst structures, large-scale chemical synthesis, and multilayer electronic circuit manufacture.”
Uma Chowdhry is the retired senior vice president and chief science and technology officer responsible for global research and development at DuPont. She worked to develop new ceramic materials for the field of high-temperature superconductivity and contributed to advances in producing proton conductors, microelectronics, and nanotechnology
Born and raised in Mumbai, she attended British missionary schools and was drawn to science in high school. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and math from the Indian Institute of Science in Mumbai and continued her education at the California Institute of Technology, obtaining a master’s in engineering science. In 1976 she earned a doctorate in materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied batteries and became interested in applied science.
After her graduate work at MIT, Chowdhry began working at E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company as a research scientist in 1977. In 1987 she led the company’s research in ceramic superconducting materials. Subsequently she became the first woman to be appointed laboratory director at the company’s Experimental Station research facility in Wilmington and then director of DuPont Engineering Technology. In her tenure at DuPont she also contributed to advancements in materials for producing proton conductors, microelectronics, and nanotechnology, which led to multiple publications and patents. In 2002 she became the vice president of central research and development at DuPont, and in 2006 she was named senior vice president of the company, as well as chief science and technology officer. She retired in September 2010.
Chowdhry was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, served on the board for the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society.
She has been generous in her volunteer service for the NAE and its sister institutions. She is currently an appointed member of the National Research Council’s Division Committee on Engineering and Physical Sciences and previously served as a councillor of the NAE (2013-2016) and co-chair of the Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (2012-2015). She served on the NRC Committee on a Guide for Recruiting and Advancing Women in Science and Engineering Careers in Academia (2002–06) and Committee on Science, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Policy (2004–07), as well as the NAE Council (2013–16) and NAE Forum on Diversity in the Engineering Workforce (1999–2002), among many others.
Jennie S. Hwang (1949-)
NAE election: 1998; citation: “For entrepreneurship in electronic assembly technology.”
Jennie S. Hwang is CEO of H-Technologies Group. She has served on the boards of NYSE-, NASDAQ-, and TSX-listed public companies and other private companies, as well as on the board of trustees of a number of universities and nonprofit organizations. She was CEO of International Electronic Materials Corp. and has held executive positions at Lockheed Martin, Sherwin-Williams, SCM Corp. She has also served as an advisor to government programs (e.g., NIST Advanced Technology Program, NASA Small Business Innovation programs, U.S. Air Force F-22 program, U.S. Army Research, Commerce Department Export Council.)
As a young student she grew interested in technology, and her parents encouraged her intellectual pursuits. She earned her master’s degree in liquid crystal science at Kent State University (1971) and a second master’s degree, in chemistry, from Columbia University (1973). In 1976 she became the first women to earn a doctorate in materials science and metallurgical engineering at Case Western Reserve University.
She is committed to disseminating new technologies to the workforce and also a dedicated advocate for STEM education; through her industry positions, she has taught numerous researchers and managers in professional development courses. She has authored over 650 publications including several internationally-used books, and her patents have been used in smartphones and other high-performance electronics.
For her contributions, she has been inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame and received US Congressional Recognition and Achievement and the YWCA Women of Achievement Award, and named R&D Stars-to-Watch by the Industry Week. She was the first and only national woman president of Surface Mount Technology Association.
The Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Award for Faculty Excellence honors faculty’s exceptional performance on the international stage at her Alma Maters. The Dr. Jennie S. Hwang YWCA Award, now for 20 years running, was established in her honor; the Award recognizes outstanding college women who study in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines. The Dr. Jennie S. Hwang Endeavors Fund was established at the National Academy of Engineering; this endowment funds programs at the NAE that support high school and college students to enhance exposure to diverse and/or international perspectives in engineering education, networking, and the profession.
She has volunteered much of her time and considerable energy to service to the academies. She currently chairs the NRC’s federal Laboratory Assessments Board and previously was a member of the NRC Committees on NIST Technical Programs (2014–20), on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies (2007–10), and on Globalization of Materials Research and Development (2003–05), as well as the NAE Forum on Diversity in the Engineering Workforce (1999–2003), Awards Committee (1999-2001), and a number of NAE membership committees.
Rong-Yu Wan (1932–2009)
NAE election: 2000; citation: “For accomplishments in metallurgical research and industrial practice, and for teaching, supervising, and inspiring students, researchers, and industrial colleagues.”
After receiving her BS in chemical engineering in 1952 from Chiao Tung University in Shanghai, Rong-Yu Wan became involved in China’s industrial reconstruction. She was a process engineer with Engineering for Nonferrous Metallurgical Industries (1953–57), project manager at the Beijing Mineral Processing Research Institute (1958–64), and then, at the Beijing General Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, worked as research scientist, supervisor, and chief of metallurgy (1964–80).
In 1980, at the age of 48, she made a courageous decision to temporarily leave her family and immigrate to the United States to further her career in metallurgy through graduate studies with J.D. Miller (NAE) at the University of Utah, where she received her PhD in metallurgy and metallurgical engineering in 1984 and accepted a position as research associate professor. Her husband Ke-Zhong Wang and son Joseph joined her in Salt Lake City.
In 1987 Wan moved to the business sector when she joined Newmont Mining Corporation’s metallurgical services research and development team. Later she was promoted to chief research scientist of hydrometallurgy, retiring in 2001. The company’s chair and CEO Wayne Murdy selected her to receive the Chairman’s Award “in recognition of lifetime achievements in the areas of process development, hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and operations support through her tireless dedication and loyalty.”
In 2001 she received the Antoine M. Gaudin Award from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Explorations “for her tireless efforts in the development of new processes for the treatment of refractory gold ores through the application of mineral processing fundamentals to plant testing.”
Evelyn L. Hu (1947-)
NAE election: 2002; citation: “For contributions to the processing of semiconductor structures and devices.”
Evelyn Hu is the Tarr-Coyne Professor of Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard, where she researches nanoscale photonic devices demonstrating exceptional efficiencies with promise for new quantum information technologies. In addition to mentoring and advising students from high school through graduate school, she has worked with more than a score of women PhD students and postdocs who now hold important roles in academia, industry, and national labs.
Born in New York City, she attended Hunter College High School, an all-girls’ school that encouraged high achievement and the exploration of science, arts, and societal issues. From there she earned her bachelor’s (1969, summa cum laude) from Barnard College, and master’s (1971) and doctorate (1975) degrees from Columbia University, all in physics.
She went to work as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, and then became a supervisor for VLSI patterning processes at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ (1981–84). In 1984 she left to accept a position as a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she became vice chair and then chair of the EECS Department and was also the founding scientific codirector of the California NanoSystems Institute, a joint initiative of UCSB and UCLA. She began her tenure at Harvard in 2009.
She is a member of both the NAE and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Academia Sinica of Taiwan, and a fellow of the IEEE. She has received an NSF Distinguished Teaching Fellow award, AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award, the 2020 IEEE Andrew Grove Award, and the 2021 IEEE/RSE James Clerk Maxwell Medal.
She is a member of the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2009–23) and has served as member or chair of a number of NAE and NAS membership committees.
Josephine M. Cheng (1953-)
NAE election: 2006; citation: “For sustained leadership and contributions to relational database technology and its pervasive applications to a wide range of digital operational systems.”
Josephine Cheng is an entrepreneur in San Jose, California, since she retired as vice president of the International Business Machines Corporation. She has been at the forefront of relational database technology for over 30 years.
Born in Vietnam, her strong academic skills in math, physics, and science led her to the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received a BS in mathematics and computer science (1975) and an MS in computer science (1977).
She was appointed an IBM fellow in 2000 and held numerous high-level positions in the United States, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea. As vice president of IBM China Development Laboratories she led the China Software Development Laboratory (CSDL) in Beijing, Shanghai, and Taipei, with a total of more than 3,000 employees.
As head of IBM Research–Almaden she oversaw the work of scientists and engineers doing exploratory and applied research in various hardware, software, and service areas, including nanotechnology, materials science, storage systems, data management, web technologies, and workplace practices. She was also principally responsible for developing IBM's database technology for the web, allowing people to access via the internet huge amounts of data that were previously accessible only through proprietary systems. She has been awarded 28 patents for her inventions.
Among her honors are the Asian American Engineer of the Year award (2003), designation as one of the Top 10 Software Leaders in China (2006), and the Professional Achievement Award from UCLA (2007).
She has served on the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Advisory Board of the University of California at Berkeley and several other universities, on the Silicon Valley CTO Forum Advisory Board, and the board on the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.
She is an elected member of the NAE Council (2016–22) and served on the Planning Committee for a Workshop on Overcoming the Technical and Policy Constraints that Limit Large-Scale Data Integration (2009–10), among other activities on behalf of the academies.
Ann L. Lee (1961-)
NAE election: 2007; citation: “For innovation and development of large-scale, cost-effective production of vaccines that have saved lives worldwide.”
Ann L. Lee is the Senior Vice President of Cell Therapy Development and Operations at Bristol Myers Squibb. She joined Juno Therapeutics, which was acquired by BMS, as Executive Vice President of Technical Operations to work in the new field of cell and gene therapy. The main goal is to re-engineer a patient’s own unique T-cells to attack cancer cells. Her teams are developing new processes and technologies, manufacturing cell therapy products, designing new facilities and building the global supply chain to deliver these new medicines for patients. Previously, Ann was at Genentech and Roche, and before that at Merck & Co., Inc. Over the course of her career, she has contributed to the development of hundreds of new investigational drugs, and the licensure and commercialization of 25 new vaccines and medicines, with the most recent being 2 new CAR-T cell products for blood cancers.
Born in Bethlehem, PA in 1961, Ann studied engineering and biology at Cornell University and received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1983. She went to Yale University to earn master’s and PhD (1989) degrees in biochemical engineering with a concentration in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Her doctoral thesis research working under Prof. Cs. Horvath focused on separation science and high performance liquid chromatography.
In 1989 Ann joined Merck Research Laboratories, working in Vaccines R&D and BioProcess Development where she led and developed new vaccines and technologies to enable licensure and their large scale production and commercialization. Achievements included new licensed vaccines for haemophilus influenzae type b in infants, pneumococcal bacteria in the elderly, and for human papilloma virus, as well as patents for DNA plasmid and adenovirus production methods. In 2003 she became Vice President of Chemical Technology and Engineering in the Manufacturing Division at Merck, overseeing process engineering and technical operations at 10 chemical sites around the world.
Lee joined Genentech in 2005 and became SVP and Head of Global Technical Development at Roche in 2009. She was responsible for developing and manufacturing all clinical stage products in Roche's global pipeline, as well as technology transfers and technical support for all commercial products. New products developed and commercialized during this time included several oncology products with breakthrough therapy designation deploying a diversity of technologies such as small molecule targeted drugs, monoclonal antibodies, antibody drug conjugates, as well as novel bispecific antibody and combination products.
Ann has authored over 40 scientific publications and holds several patents. She was associate editor of Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry and has been an organizer or invited lecturer for numerous scientific conferences and universities.
In addition to the NAE, Ann is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and a member of Washington State Academy of Sciences. She serves on the Board of Directors for American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Alliance of Regenerative Medicine to help shape the future of her profession; and JW Therapeutics. She was named one of 150 most influential women in Bay Area Business. She served on the NAE’s Making Value for America: Best Practices (2013–15) and co-chaired the NRC’s Convocation on Capitalizing on the Diversity of Science and Engineering Workforce in Industry (2008–10). She also served on the membership committee, and was chair of the nominations committee. Ann has long advocated for more girls and women to pursue STEM careers, and she takes great pride in seeing the success and advancement of everyone who she has mentored, sponsored or worked with along the way, including scores who are now in leadership roles throughout the world.
Teresa H. Meng (1961-)
NAE election: 2007; citation: “For pioneering the development of distributed wireless network technology.”
Teresa Meng is the Reid Weaver Dennis Professor of Electrical Engineering Emerita at Stanford University. She received her bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University (1983) and her master’s (1984) and doctorate (1988) in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.
Meng’s initial research activities at Stanford focused on low-power circuit and system design, video signal processing, and wireless communications. During a 2-year leave from Stanford, she founded Atheros Communications, Inc., which developed semiconductor system solutions for wireless network communications products. She then returned to Stanford to continue her teaching and research, with a focus on applying signal processing and IC design to biomedical engineering. She also directed a research group that explored wireless power transfer and implantable biomedical devices.
She has authored a book (Synchronization Design for Digital Systems), several book chapters, and over 200 technical articles, and served on the NRC Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (2003–09).
Among her numerous awards and honors are the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal (2019), ACM SIGMOBILE Outstanding Contribution Award (2018), IEEE Donald O. Pederson Award and DEMO Lifetime Achievement Award (both in 2009), McKnight Technological Innovations in Neurosciences Award (2007), Distinguished Lecturer Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society (2004), Bosch Faculty Scholar Award in 2003, CIO 20/20 Vision Award in 2002, and NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award and ONR Young Investigator Award (both in 1989).
She served on the NRC Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (2003–09).
Sangeeta N. Bhatia (1968-)
NAE election: 2015; citation: “For tissue engineering and tissue regeneration technologies, stem cell differentiation, and preclinical drug evaluation.”
Sangeeta Bhatia is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering & Science and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. She is director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, and a member of the Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology, both part of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, a member of the Broad Institute, an associated faculty member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and a biomedical engineer at Brigham & Women's Hospital. She previously held a tenured position at UCSD, and has worked in industry at Pfizer, Genetics Institute, ICI Pharmaceuticals, and Organogenesis.
She got her bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University, master’s in mechanical engineering and PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT, and MD from Harvard Medical School.
In her laboratory Bhatia seeks to leverage miniaturization tools from semiconductor manufacturing to improve human health. She has pioneered technologies for interfacing living cells with synthetic systems, enabling new applications in tissue regeneration, stem cell differentiation, medical diagnostics, and drug delivery. Among a variety of innovations, her multidisciplinary team has developed human microlivers that model human drug metabolism, liver disease, and interaction with pathogens, and develops nanoparticles and nanoporous materials that can be designed to assemble and communicate to study, diagnose, and treat diseases such as cancer.
She is only the 25th person to be elected to all three National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and Massachusetts Academy of Sciences.
She coauthored the first undergraduate textbook on Tissue Engineering and is a frequent advisor to government organizations on nanobiotechnology, biomedical microsystems, and tissue engineering. She and her more than 150 trainees have contributed to more than 50 issued or pending patents and launched more than 10 biotechnology companies with commercial products at the intersection of medicine and miniaturization. Her 200+ published articles have been cited a total of over 45,000 times.
Her work has been recognized with the 2014 Lemelson-MIT Prize; 20th Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment; Othmer Gold Medal; David and Lucile Packard Fellowship, given to “the nation’s most promising young professors in science and engineering”; an NSF CAREER Award; Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Young Investigator Award of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology; and she was named a Merkin Fellow of the Broad Institute. As a passionate mentor and advocate for diversity in science and engineering, she has received the Harvard Medical School Diversity Award and the Harvard-MIT Thomas McMahon Mentoring Award.
She serves on the academies’ Forum on Regenerative Medicine (2016–21).
Yilu Liu (1959-)
NAE election: 2016; citation: “For innovations in electric power grid monitoring, situational awareness, and dynamic modeling.”
Yilu Liu is deputy director of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Networks. She is also the Governor’s Chair Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She was previously a professor at Virginia Tech.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Xian Jiaotong University (1982) and her master’s (1986) and doctoral (1989) degrees from The Ohio State University, all in electrical engineering.
During her tenure at Virginia Tech, she led the effort to create the North America power grid monitoring network (FNET), which is now operated at UTK and ORNL as GridEye. Specializing in smart-grid technologies in electrical power transmission and distribution, Liu seeks to develop better ways to monitor and control the flow of electrical energy through the nation’s power grid.
In addition to her NAE membership she is an IEEE fellow and a member of the National Academy of Inventors.
She has been active on NAE membership committees, including a term on the Special Nominating Committee on Member Diversity and Chair of the nomination committee for Section 6.
Dianne Chong (1949-)
NAE election: 2017; citation: “For advances in process and production technologies for composites in large commercial aerospace vehicles.”
Dianne Chong is retired vice president of Boeing Research and Technology. During her career she led the organization responsible for the development and support of manufacturing processes, materials, and program integration for the Boeing enterprise. She also served as director of materials and process technology for Boeing Commercial Airplanes and as director of strategic operations and business for IDS Engineering.
As the oldest of five children, her appreciation for education and academic excellence began at home. Her mother was widowed at a young age and instilled the importance of strength and perseverance in her children. Chong cites her mother’s support of her family, in addition to help from neighbors, as central to the development of her value system.
It is with this positive view of education and the significance of community that Chong embarked on her studies. In high school she thought she would be a physician, and so double-majored in biology and psychology (1971) at the University of Illinois, where she went on to earn a master’s degree in physiology (1975). At the encouragement of her brother, she ventured into metallurgical engineering, earning a master’s (1983) and doctorate (1986), again from the University of Illinois. In 1988 she got an executive master’s in manufacturing management from Washington University.
She was the first woman elected president of ASM International (2007–08), and in 2020 she was inducted in the inaugural class of the Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame. She is president of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and a member of TMS, AIAA, ASM International, SME, SWE, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Tau Beta Pi.
She is very active in the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She is currently a member of the steering committee for the NAE’s EngineerGirl program and the planning committees for two NRC workshops, on Logistics and Manufacturing Under Attack and on Materials Science and Engineering in a Post-Pandemic World. She has also served on the NRC’s Committee on Defense Materials, Manufacturing, and Infrastructure (2016–19), Board on Global Science and Technology (2009–14), and National Materials and Manufacturing Board (2004–09), among many others.