Lehigh University
Lehigh University


China's Ministry of Education to honor Gans research achievements

Qiaoqiang Gan, Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering, and Filbert Bartoli, Chandler Weaver Chair and Professor of electrical and computer engineering.

In three years as a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Lehigh, Qiaoqiang Gan has spent much of his time learning how to control the movement of lightwaves.

His work will have an impact on biosensing, medical imaging, all-optical telecommunication networks and other optical technologies that depend on engineers’ ability to trap and release light in its various frequencies.

Gan, who is advised by Filbert Bartoli, the Chandler Weaver Chair of electrical and computer engineering, has published articles in such international technical journals as Physics Review Letter, Applied Physics Letters, Optics Express and Optics Letters. His work has been featured in Nature Photonics, Scientific American, The New Scientist, Laser Focus World, Photonics Spectra and other scientific and trade journals.

On June 7, the Chinese government will recognize Gan’s research achievements when China’s Ministry of Education presents him with the 2008 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad. The award, which includes a $5,000 check and a certificate, will be presented by China’s Consulate General in New York City.

Gan (the ‘q’ in his first name is pronounced like the ‘ch’ in English) is one of 78 students in the U.S. and 330 around the world who will receive the Chinese government award. He is also the second Lehigh student to be so honored in two years. Yang Wang received the award in 2006, completed his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Lehigh in 2007, and is now a device engineer and project leader with OptiComp Corp. in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

Gan earned a B.S. in materials science and engineering in 2003 from Fudan University in Shanghai, one of the top science and engineering schools in China. There, he won his first research award, the Preeminent Individual Prize, which recognizes individual innovation in science and technology.

From Fudan, Gan went to Beijing, where he earned a master’s of engineering degree in 2006 from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Semiconductors. He won four academic awards from the Institute, where he was advised by Lianghui Chen, a Fellow in the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Gan heard of Lehigh from Thomas Deng, a classmate from Fudan University who is now also a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Lehigh. He chose to apply to Lehigh in part because of Bartoli’s reputation, and he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in 2006, one year after Bartoli himself joined the university’s faculty.

“I heard that Professor Bartoli had just started at Lehigh and that he was beginning to build his research program,” says Gan. “I regarded it as a challenge to help him start up his lab.”

Gan, who grew up in Taizhou in China’s Jiangsu Province, hopes to pursue an academic career following completion of his Ph.D. He believes Lehigh’s Ph.D. program has prepared him well.

“I have been given a lot of opportunities and freedom,” he says. “Professor Bartoli has always been supportive as an adviser. He has given me the chance to teach, help prepare research proposals and class lectures, and sit in on discussions with faculty members about the direction of our research.”

In 2007, Gan gave an invited seminar at the University of Toronto’s department of chemistry. In 2008, he gave an invited seminar at the physics department of Wuhan University in China. He has served as a peer reviewer for half a dozen technical journals, including Nano Letters, Optics Letters, the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, the IEEE Journal of Photonics Technology Letters, and the IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology.

Gan holds two Chinese patents and has three patents pending in the U.S. He also collaborates with Yujie Ding, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Lehigh.

In his most recent article, which was coauthored with Ding and Bartoli and published by Physical Review Letters, Gan reported the development of a graded grating structure that opens the door to the control of light waves on a chip and can be scaled to dimensions compatible with light waves in both the terahertz and telecommunications portion of the spectrum.

--Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

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