Former President of National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU) and Chair Professor of the Department of Physics Hung-Duen Yang was awarded the 65th Academic Award of the Ministry of Education. His passion for scientific research brought him into the field of low-temperature physics, and over the past 30 years he gradually established his distinctive Low Temperature Lab and designed the world's first-class measuring facilities. He hopes that the results of basic and applied research will contribute to the future development of superconductivity, magnetism, quantum materials and energy-related industries, and expects more young talents dedicating themselves to the research work in science and technology.
Professor Yang specializes in solid state physics, superconductivity physics, magnetism physics, high pressure physics, and quantum materials. During his doctoral studies in the US, he focused on exploring magnetic superconductors, heavy fermions, and charge density wave. After returning to Taiwan, he established the Low Temperature Lab and engaged in discovering superconductors with higher critical temperatures, even beyond liquid nitrogen or room-temperature superconductors, meanwhile hoping to gain an insight into the physical mechanism of superconductivity for the application of high-tech and energy industries.
Professor Yang is a fellow of The Physical Society of the Republic of China and has received several Awards of Excellence in Research and Outstanding Research Awards from NSYSU and National Science Council. He recalls that since returning to Taiwan 30 years ago, only limited resources and manpower were applicable. Then he started by modifying common instruments and designing hardware and software for his Low Temperature Lab step by step. The Lab team successfully developed instruments, such as high-pressure cell and low-temperature calorimeter, achieving the resolution and accuracy better than those of world-famous laboratories. Once the research facilities were upgraded, the quality of research results became leading in Taiwan and highly recognized internationally. Up to date, he has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers with his coworkers in top scientific journals of the field of condensed matter physics.
Professor Yang started his professional position in NSYSU at 1987, later acted as the Chair of the Department of Physics and the Dean of the College of Science. He successively initiated the master's and doctoral programs for the Department of Physics, and actively assisted and integrated research groups for large-scale projects. After 2001, he also served as Director General of the Natural Sciences Division and the Deputy Chairman of the National Science Council (now the Ministry of Science and Technology), and the Minister of Science and Technology. For those terms, he planned and implemented basic research projects in the field of natural sciences in Taiwan, supervised international industry-academia cooperation and national science and technology projects, and revised the Fundamental Science and Technology Act, and the Act for Establishment and Administration of Science Parks, as well as planned national visionary projects in smart green energy and biomedicine. When serving as the President of NSYSU, Professor Yang not only led the University to pursue the ranking among the top 500 in global university rankings, but was also concerned about the local economic development: he launched the Academia-Industry Consortium of Kaohsiung Software Park, Taiwan Ocean Academia-Industry Consortium, Artificial Intelligence Industry & Academia Alliance, which supported industry-academia matchmaking, technology transfer, and talent cultivation. These efforts bridged NSYSU to fulfill its university social responsibility.
Diligent in teaching, Professor Yang was previously awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by NSYSU and the Ministry of Education. Many Master and PhD graduates he supervised over the years received Outstanding Dissertation Awards both from NSYSU and The Physical Society of the Republic of China. Some of them are serving in high-tech enterprises, the others are taking position in education to forward their passion for science. Professor Yang said that scientific research is never-ending and hoped that more and more young people will continue doing research in the future.