UT Arlington College of Engineering
UT Arlington

A True Renaissance Man

Electrical Engineering Professor Jung-Chih (J.C.) Chiao is a prime example of a Renaissance Man: His interests and expertise span a wide spectrum of research activities and artistic pursuits – esophageal reflux, MEMS, children’s books, wireless devices, optical fibers, paper cutting, pain management, classical music, millimeter-wave sensors, engineering education, and more.

Dr. Chiao came to UT Arlington in the fall of 2002 from the University of Hawaii. He has received four patents for his MEMS-related research, and six others are pending. Over the years, he has originated and/or participated in research projects receiving more than $3 million in funding. He has collaborated with researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, the University of California at Berkeley and others, plus conducted interdisciplinary work with researchers in the College of Engineering and the College of Science.

Dr. Chiao has published 138 peer-reviewed technical journal and conference papers. He is one of the authors of the books “Active and Quasi-Optical Arrays” and “Micro- and Nano-Manipulations for Biomedical Applications” and the editor of 12 conference proceedings and two books. He has made invited presentations at more than 38 national and international conferences, symposia and workshops. In 2005, he was invited to be a co-founder of the American Academy of Nanomedicine.

For the past two years, Dr. Chiao has been presenting a science, technology, engineering and math course, Micro and Nanotechnologies, in the Texas Governor’s School, a summer program for gifted and talented high school students from across the state focusing on enriching a student’s abilities in technology as well as exploring technological impacts on present and future societies. He also has periodically visited local high schools for presentations on the potentials of nanotechnology.

Writing children’s literature is a pastime not typically pursued by electrical engineering professors. Dr. Chiao wrote his first book for his niece shortly after she was born in 1997. It was inspired by a stuffed toy, a beaver with a cockeyed smile. “The beaver was so concerned with his crooked teeth that he forgot to do the important things like building a dam,” said Dr. Chiao “The moral of the story is that it is what’s inside that’s important.”

Another pastime is creating three-dimensional sculptures out of paper. He admits it’s not always about the art; sometimes his creative talents help his research on MEMS. He has built paper models to make sure the miniature components, usually smaller than the diameter of a human hair, move the way they should.