Norman C. Tien, dean and Nord Professor of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, was one of two Asian American educators in the United States selected to receive the second annual Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Award, presented by the San Francisco-based Asian Pacific Fund. An unrestricted grant award of $10,000 is given in recognition of the recipients' professional accomplishments and leadership qualities.
Chang-Lin Tien was the first Asian American to lead a major American research university. He served as chancellor of the University of California-Berkeley from 1990 to 1997, and was a founding member of the Asian Pacific Fund's board of directors. The program was created by the Asian Pacific Fund and is supported by the many people who admired Chancellor Tien as an acclaimed teacher, scientist and administrator and recognizes the accomplishments of rising Asian American leaders in higher education to support their professional development and advancement.
Chang-Lin Tien is Norman Tien's late father.
Norman Tien, a first-generation Chinese American, joined the Case School of Engineering faculty in January 2006 as the Nord Professor of Engineering and chair of the department of electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). Appointed dean in February 2007, Tien, who also serves as the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics, has already realized several key elements of his vision for the school with initiatives in energy and global outreach. Along with several engineering faculty, Tien created the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation to develop and advance sustainable energy generation through research, development and education. The institute also serves as a vehicle to drive cultural change in the school by promoting multidisciplinary, collaborative, large-scale research.
"I'm honored to receive this award named for my father," Tien said. "He was truly an inspiration to me as I followed my own career path. It's even more gratifying to me to know how much he inspired many other rising Asian American leaders in higher education as well."
Tien has also created the San Diego-based Science and Technology Application Center, Case Western Reserve's first office outside of Ohio. The center's mission is to raise the university's national and international presence while connecting its science and technology capabilities with global innovation opportunities and resources. He also has developed new collaborative agreements with two Chinese universities. In addition, he has restructured the administration and faculty of the Case School of Engineering, including the appointments of the school's first two female department chairs, to position its programs at the forefront of their disciplines.
Tien's research interests are in the area of micro and nanotechnology – including microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems – the fabrication of small structures, tools and instruments for use in wireless communications, biomedical systems and environmental monitoring.
Prior to joining Case, Tien served as chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California at Davis and held a joint appointment at the University of California at Berkeley. He also served as co-director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center. He previously held faculty positions in Cornell University's department of electrical and computer engineering. Tien also has served as an adjunct research professor at Peking University and recently received the distinction of honorary professor of Tianjin University in Tianjin, China. He also was director of TCL Technology Innovation, Inc., an angel investment fund in Hong Kong.
"Norman Tien's intellect and creativity are matched by a sincere concern for the success of all of his constituents – faculty, researchers, graduate students and undergraduates alike," said Barbara R. Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve. "Norman's energy and enthusiasm are infectious, and I have enormous confidence that our school will reach new heights during his tenure as dean."
A National Science Foundation CAREER award recipient, Tien received his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego, his master's degree from the University of Illinois and his bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
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