The Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY) has recognized two Syracuse University faculty members for their research and teaching efforts.
The organization recognized Eric Schiff, professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Pun To (Douglas) Yung, associate professor of biomedical and chemical engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). Schiff was honored with the organization’s 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Yung was recognized as College Educator of the Year. The award was presented at the group’s recent 22nd annual celebration.
Schiff began teaching at the university in 1981. He served twice as chair of the physics department and led initiatives that more than tripled the number of undergraduates in the major while expanding the research efforts sponsored by the department. During his tenure as associate dean of the natural sciences and mathematics departments, he oversaw the construction of a $110 million life science complex and managed eight academic departments. He also served as interim executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE).
Schiff’s research areas include solar cell device physics and semiconductor charge carrier transport. He has co-authored over 100 research publications with over 3,000 citations and is a co-inventor on three US patents. He has also served as Principal Investigator on numerous externally funded projects for government agencies such as the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, as well as companies such as United Solar Ovonic LLC, Boeing, First Solar and SRC. He also spent research vacations at companies in Silicon Valley and served for three years as a program director at the U.S. Government Advanced Research Projects Agency-Department of Energy.
After completing a six-year teaching career at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mr Yung came to the University in 2016. In addition to his current role as an associate professor, he serves as the Undergraduate Program Director for the ECS Bioengineering Program. He advocates a blended teaching and learning environment, including project-based, hands-on work, experiential activities, and peer collaboration.
Mr. Rong has received several educational recognitions. These include the NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2008 and several awards from the Chinese University of Hong Kong: the Vice-Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award (2012), the Dean of Engineering’s Exemplary Teaching Award (2011 and 2012), and the Outstanding Teaching Award. Department of Electronic Engineering (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
His research focuses on interfacing microbes with micro- and nano-scale engineering tools, finding ways to rapidly assess the viability of superbugs, and harnessing the energy of extremophiles using a combination of electrochemistry, optical techniques, and MEMS devices. Yung also assists with the Invent@SU program, which helps undergraduates learn about design, product development, and intellectual property, then create and prototype original inventions and get feedback from guest evaluators.
He received a double bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics and Applied Science from UCLA in 2003. He received a Ph.D. He received his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Caltech in 2008.
TACNY was established in 1903. Its mission is to promote awareness, appreciation and education of technology in the community and to collaborate with like-minded organizations in the region.