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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Wang Named Travelstead Institute Chair at Rensselaer

July 8, 2009

Wang Named Travelstead Institute Chair at Rensselaer

Gwo-Ching Wang, professor and head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been appointed the Travelstead Institute Chair. This endowed chair was established with a gift from G. Ware Travelstead ’60.

“Dr. Wang is an accomplished scholar and educator,” said Rensselaer Provost Robert Palazzo. “She is a pioneer in the application of fundamental physics, developing methods for the controlled assembly of nanomaterials. She is also a highly respected teacher and mentor. During her nearly 25 years with the Institute, she has helped countless graduate and undergraduate students as well as junior faculty reach their greatest potential. The impacts of her leadership and research will resonate for years to come and we are proud to have her here at Rensselaer.”

Wang joined the Rensselaer faculty in 1984 and has been head of the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy since 2000. Prior to joining Rensselaer, she was a physicist in the Electron Physics Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and in the Surface Physics Group in the Solid State Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Wang has made pioneering and sustained contributions in the development of the theory and practice of electron diffraction techniques to study the growth of materials, including novel nanomaterials. She has written more than 220 articles and published two books on her research.

During her time at Rensselaer, she was instrumental in the creation of the Center for Terahertz Research, which is now widely recognized as one of the best in the world in the growing field of study. In addition, she has directed three national research programs that have helped top students afford their education and excel in the classroom, including the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU); the NSF-sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT); and the U.S. Department of Education-sponsored Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program. 

She has also directly supervised more than 20 REU and Rensselaer students in the past 15 years and continues to teach a wide variety of courses ranging from Physics I to Surface Physics and Quantum Physics.

Wang is a fellow the AAAS, American Physical Society, and the American Vacuum Society, as well as a member of the Materials Research Society. She was a recipient of the William A. Wiley Distinguished Faculty Award from Rensselaer in 2006.

Professor Wang received her B.S. in physics from Cheng‐Kung University, Taiwan, her M.S. from Northern Illinois University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison in 1978.

Contact: Gabrielle DeMarco
Phone: (518) 276-6542