Impact of Engineering on Humanity: Vision from Columbia Engineering

June 23, 2017 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Columbia Global Centers | Beijing

On June 23 at 6:30 p.m.Dean Mary Boyce, from the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University, will host a panel of four leading Columbia Engineering Professors: Shih-Fu Chang, Jingyue Ju, Jingguang Chen and Yuan Yang. The four panelists will talk about the new vision for the School and the impact of their engineering research on humanity, as well as Columbia’s actions and accomplishments in this direction. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the panel, providing audiences an opportunity to have face-to-face communication with globally renowned professors.

Dean Boyce and the Professors look forward to meeting with alumni and students. So we warmly welcome alumni and admitted students to attend this event.


We proudly present you with the following panelists:

Professor Mary BoyceDean of Columbia Engineering , Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering

Professor Shih-Fu ChangSenior Executive Vice Dean of Columbia Engineering, the Richard Dicker Professor of Columbia Engineering

Professor Jingguang Chen. Thayer Lindsley Profesor and Vice Chair of Chemical Engineering, Columbia Engineering

Professor Jingyue Ju. Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Columbia Engineering

Professor Yuan Yang. Assistant Professor, Materials Science and Engineering in Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia Engineering

We cordially invite SEAS and CU newly admitted and current students, Alumni, experts, scholars and general public to attend the event.

Registration begins at 6:00 p.m.. Light refreshment will be served.



Friday, June 23, 2017

6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.



6:30 p.m. - 6:40 p.m. Opening Remark & Introduction to SEAS by Dean Mary C. Boyce

6:40 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Panel Discussion: Impact of Engineering on Humanity

7:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Q&A



Profiles of Participants:

Mary C. Boyce is Dean of Engineering at The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in the City of New York and also the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor of Engineering. Prior to joining Columbia, Dean Boyce served on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for over 25 years, leading the Mechanical Engineering Department from 2008 to 2013. Her research focuses on materials and mechanics, particularly in the areas of multi-scale mechanics of polymers and soft composites, and has led to innovative hybrid material designs with novel properties. She has been widely recognized for her scholarly contributions to this field, including election as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering. 

Dean Boyce leads the education and research mission of Columbia Engineering with more than 200 faculty, 1600 undergraduate students, 2600 graduate students, and 100 postdoctoral fellows. Committed to facilitating and celebrating the creativity and innovation of students and faculty, she has launched and overseen expansion of a Columbia MakerSpace, created Ignition Grants to support student ventures, sponsored Columbia Design Challenges, established the Senior Design Expo, and inaugurated the School’s participation in the Columbia Startup Lab. A strong advocate of interdisciplinary research and the translation of innovation to impact, she has increased faculty in cross-cutting fields, such as nanoscience, robotics, imaging and sensing, materials, data science, and more. Recently, Dean Boyce launched an inspiring new vision for the school, Columbia Engineering for Humanity. She earned her BS degree in engineering science and mechanics from Virginia Tech, and her MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Shih-Fu Chang is the Senior Executive Vice Dean and the Richard Dicker Professor of Columbia Engineering. His research is focused on multimedia analytics, computer vision, and machine learning, with the goal of turning unstructured multimedia data into searchable information. Over the span of his career, he has created innovative techniques for image/video recognition, multimodal analysis, image authentication, and large-scale multimedia search. He has made significant technical contributions with more than 300 papers, 32 issued patents, and several startup companies. He has been awarded the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Achievement Award, ACM Multimedia Special Interest Group Technical Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Amsterdam, the IEEE Kiyo Tomiyasu Award, and was ranked by Microsoft Academic Search as the most influential researcher in the field of multimedia. He has also received the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates. Chang served as an advisor for several international research institutions and companies. In his current capacity, he plays a key role in the School’s strategic planning, special research initiatives, international collaboration, and faculty development. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and IEEE. Chang holds a PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.


Jingguang Chen is the Thayer Lindsley Professor of Chemical Engineering and vice chair of the department. Chen’s research is focused on contributing to cost-effective alternative energy by identifying catalysts that can substantially reduce the expense of producing alternative fuels. He has made pioneering contributions to the understanding and use of novel catalysts, specifically delving into the physical and chemical properties of bimetallic and metal carbide catalysts. His research has inspired fundamental studies in catalytic and fuel cell processes, including the exploration of ways to reduce the use of costly platinum in the catalysis process to produce hydrogen from water electrolysis and to convert CO2 to value-added products. Chen's group also applies advanced synchrotron techniques to identify and characterize reactive species in catalysts. These techniques help researchers across the United States investigate the use of less expensive, more stable catalytic materials for applications ranging from fuel cells to biomass utilization. His monograph on synchrotron investigations of metal oxides, nitrides, carbides, and sulfides remains the seminal study in this area. Chen joined Columbia Engineering in 2012 where he co-founded and serves as principal investigator of the Synchrotron Catalysis Consortium at the National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory. In addition to serving on a wide range of professional committees, he is the President of the North American Catalysis Society and served as the Chair of the Catalysis Division of American Chemical Society. He won the 2015 George Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry and the 2017 Robert Burwell Lectureship in Catalysis. During his career, Chen has published 340 journal publications and has been granted 20 patents relating to catalytic science and technology. He received his BS from Nanjing University in China and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to academia, he worked for eight years at the Exxon Research and Engineering Company.

Jingyue Ju is the Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering in the Department of Chemical Engineering. He is also a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Pharmacology, as well as Director of the Center for Genome Technology & Biomolecular Engineering at Columbia. Ju focuses on the design and synthesis of novel molecules for application in life science, and developing new genomics technologies for the paradigm of precision medicine. He is the co-inventor of the DNA sequencing technology based on the fluorescence energy transfer principle that enabled the completion of the Human Genome Project and his work has produced revolutionary technologies that dramatically reduce the cost of DNA sequencing. Using nanoscience and technology, his team is currently pursuing the research and development of a single molecule real-time electronic DNA sequencing platform that has the potential to accelerate the use of DNA sequencing for wide applications in clinical diagnosis and precision medicine. In 2013, his team won a $5.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a handheld device for single-molecule DNA sequencing. Ju holds a BS from Mongolia University, an MS from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a PhD from the University of Southern California. He was a U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley from 1994 to 1995 and was a recipient of the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.

Yuan Yang is Assistant Professor in the program of materials science and engineering in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia Engineering. He designs, characterizes, and analyzes materials and devices for electrochemical energy storage and conversion (e.g. batteries, water splitting), and thermal management (e.g. solar absorber). He has worked on the fabrication of novel electrodes for next-generation batteries, such as solid state batteries to address safety issues in Li-ion batteries, and Li-S batteries for increasing battery energy density. He also designs new battery architecture, such as transparent batteries and flexible batteries. Of particular interest to Yang is designing the composition and structure of battery materials to realize high performance. Besides material design, Yang is also interested in understanding fundamental processes in battery reactions and is interested in chemical and electrochemical methods to control thermal radiative properties for thermal management. He was selected as a Scialog fellow on advanced energy storage in 2017. In 2015 he was the winner of a MRS (Materials Research Society) Postdoctoral Award and his work on thermally regenerative electrochemical cells was chosen by Scientific American as one of the “10 World-Changing Ideas in 2014.” Yang received a BS in physics from Peking University in 2007 and a PhD in materials science and engineering from Stanford University in 2012. After working as a postdoctoral associate at MIT for three years, he joined Columbia Engineering as an Assistant Professor in 2012.


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