Asian American Scholar Forum Celebrates Dr. Gang Chen’s Election to National Academy of Sciences

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May 12, 2023

Media Contact: Mary Tablante, Asian American Scholar Forum,

Asian American Scholar Forum Celebrates Dr. Gang Chen’s Election to National Academy of Sciences

Washington, D.C.— The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced the election of AASF board member Dr. Gang Chen in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Dr. Chen was among 120 members and 23 international members elected this May.

NAS is a private, non-profit society founded in 1863, tasked with providing independent advice on science and technology. It comprises distinguished scholars elected by their peers for outstanding research contributions. The NAS is dedicated to advancing science in America and has active members in the international scientific community. Over 500 NAS members, past and present, have received Nobel Prizes, while its journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is renowned for publishing original research.

Dr. Chen is the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of Power Engineering at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is a pioneer in nanoscale heat transfer and energy conversion. Dr. Chen has significantly contributed to the understanding of heat transfer and energy conversion mechanisms, developed high performance thermoelectric materials, superior semiconductors, highly heat conductive polymers, and water desalination materials; and he advanced solar-thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies. 

Dr. Chen’s work on cubic boron arsenide as a superior semiconductor was chosen as Physics World Top 10 Breakthrough in 2022, his directional solvent extraction and thermally charged batteries technologies were highlighted by the Scientific American as its annual top 10 World Changing ideas in 2012 and 2014, and his work on high performance thermoelectric materials won a R&D 100 award. Dr. Chen is an academician of Academia Sinica, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. 

“I am thrilled, humbled, and honored to learn the news of my election to NAS, and the outpouring of congratulations and kind words from many people,” said Dr. Gang Chen. “This honor is even more special and meaningful after what I have endured. I thank the National Academy of Sciences and its members for their votes of confidence. I am inspired to continue contributing to science, engineering, and society.”  

“We at AASF feel extremely proud of Professor Chen for his election to NAS,” said Dr. Yasheng Huang, AASF President. “We feel proud not just because of his scientific accomplishments but also because of his leadership role in advancing and defending our community and the principles of open science. He is the very embodiment of what AASF stands for and champions.”

“Being a member of NAS is considered one of the highest honors in the scientific community.  Professor Chen’s election to NAS is a testament to his exceptional contributions to science as well as his leadership and service for the society,” said Dr. Kai Li, Vice President. “He is an inspiration to all scientists and engineers, particularly immigrants and those from underrepresented groups. The founding of AASF was inspired by Professor Chen’s courage and perseverance.” 

“AASF applauds Professor Chen on his historic achievement, which is all the more meaningful not only because of his achievements, but because of his dedication in fighting for justice,” said Gisela Perez Kusakawa, Executive Director. “Professor Chen exemplifies the values AASF stands for. He has made a mark not just in the scientific community, but in our country as a whole as he continues to inspire others to have a voice and participate in our democracy.”


Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) is a national non-profit that promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments and profiling in the U.S., AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars. AASF membership includes members from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in addition to past and current university presidents, provost, vice provosts, deans, associate deans and past and current department chairs.