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【92nd Anniversary】NCKU Honors Outstanding Alumni Dr. Yu-Pen Su and Dr. Tze-Chiang Chen for Significant Contributions, Conferring Honorary Doctorates

Written by Amber Tyan. Image credit to NCKU News Center
A simple yet dignified Honorary Doctorate Conferment Ceremony
NCKU recognized Dr. Yu-Pen Su, for his lifelong dedication to advancing the national defense technology, and Dr. Tze-Chiang Chen, for his outstanding contributions to the global semiconductor industry. On November 9th, the eve of NCKU's 92nd-anniversary, President Meng-Ru Shen personally conferred honorary degrees to the two distinguished alumni, Doctor of Engineering and Doctor of Science, respectively. Both new honorary doctors are outstanding alumni of NCKU and exemplify the university's guiding principle: "Today, you bring honor to NCKU; tomorrow, NCKU takes pride in you."
The conferment ceremony took place at the historically significant Ge-Chi Hall, which was completed in 1934 as NCKU's initial large assembly space. In the past, it served as the venue for calculus and general physics exams. Ge-Chi Hall is now a designated historical site in Tainan City. The ceremony, held in this symbolic building, was simple yet dignified; Dr. Sheng-Chih Shen, Vice President of the Office of Academic Affairs, read the recommendations for honorary doctorates, and President Meng-Ru Shen personally presented certificates to the two honorary doctors.
Right to left: President Meng-Ru Shen, Dr. Yu-Pen Su, Dr. Sheng-Chih Shen
Dr. Yu-Pen Su, an NCKU Mechanical Engineering graduate of the class of 1970 and a Ph.D. holder in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, has dedicated his career researching defense systems such as missiles and rockets. He is an Academician at the Academia Sinica and currently serves as a consultant at the Missile and Rocket Systems Research Division at the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology (NCSIST).
Dr. Yu-Pen Su, academician and former director of the NCSIST Missile and Rocket Systems Research Division, has furthermore hosted numerous aerospace programs such as the Tian-Xing and Tian-Qing projects, playing a key role in the development and research of solid-propellant rocket engine, liquid ramjet engine, liquid-propellant rocket engine, and turbofan engine, in addition to the development of related electrical mechanics and system integration. His fruitful research has laid the foundation for the successful development of many of our missile systems such as Tien Kung-1, Hsiung Feng III, Hsiung Feng II, Hsiung Feng IIE, and Wan Chien. In addition, his research and development in hypersonic aerial vehicles has greatly facilitated in strengthening our military. Dr. Yu-Pen Su is also an advocate for the collaboration between NCKU and NCSIST, assisting in aerospace-related research and obtaining multiple research projects.
Expressing gratitude for his alma mater, Dr. Yu-Pen Su acknowledged that the solid educational foundation provided by NCKU allowed him to proudly identify as an NCKU alumni. “It is all thanks to NCKU that I have faced minimal adversities throughout my career,” Su said. He is grateful to NCKU for the support he received as a researcher at the NCSIST, as many professors at NCKU provided assistance, helping him overcome challenges and achieve success in his career.  Dr. Su also expressed appreciation for the honorary doctorate. He revealed that after receiving his Ph.D. from Princeton 43 years ago, he has never had the opportunity to wear the doctoral gown, so in this conferment ceremony, he has finally fulfilled a long-standing wish.
Through personal experience, Dr. Yu-Pen Su encouraged students to embrace lifelong learning and to maintain a curious mindset. He emphasized that graduation is just the beginning of one's personal and professional journey, urging them to continue striving for excellence. He advised aspiring individuals to surround themselves with the best and set goals higher than their current abilities to ensure progress.
Right to left: President Meng-Ru Shen, Dr. Tze-Chiang Chen, Dr. Sheng-Chih Shen
Dr. Tze-Chiang Chen, an internationally renowned expert in semiconductors, is currently the Vice President of Science and Technology at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He graduated from NCKU Department of Physics in 1974 and attained his Master’s degree two years later. Afterwards, he attained his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Yale in 1985.
Chen specializes in nanotechnology and international strategic alliances. In addition to his significant contributions to IBM in the United States, he has advocated for international cooperation, including Taiwan as a partner, fostering collaboration between domestic technology companies and IBM to drive the development of semiconductor technology in Taiwan and globally.
His research in advanced bipolar technology played a key role in the development of IBM390 mainframe systems. From the years 1999 to 2003, Chen served as the Director of Advanced Logic/Memory Technology Development at the Semiconductor Research and Development Center, IBM Microelectronics Division. It was during this period when he introduced his research to Taiwan’s DRAM manufacturing industry.
Chen expressed a special connection to the ceremony venue, recalling his weekly “Black Friday” exams at Ge-Chi Hall during his student days. He thanked the Department of Physics for providing him with a solid foundation in theoretical and experimental physics, which greatly influenced his career development, including solving several issues for the Hubble Telescope for NASA while studying in the United States. Is it easier said than done, or easier done than said? From personal experience, Chen shared that theoretical aspects are easier done than said, while actual problem-solving is the opposite.
Similar to Su, Dr. Tze-Chiang Chen encouraged younger students to remain curious throughout their lives. He shared that before his Master’s graduation ceremony, his advisor in NCKU, Professor Jian-Er Lee, reminded him of the virtue of perseverance. Therefore, he would like to pass down the advice to students nowadays: be it engaging in experiments or theory, one must maintain their perseverance and steadfastness.
The Honorary Doctorate Conferment Ceremony was attended by numerous observers, including Dr. Chuan-Pu Liu, Vice President for Research and Development, Dr. Yu-Long Lo, Vice Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Chien-Sheng Liu, Chairman of Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Shau-Shiun Jan, Chairman of Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Dr. Chin-Chun Tsai, Dean of the College of Science, Dr. Kuang-Yao Lo, Chairman of Dept. of Physics, Dr. Yueh-Nan Chen, Distinguished Professor of the Dept. of Physics, among other faculty staff and students.
Provider: NCKU News Center
Date: 2023-11-24
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