Duke to Partner with Taiwanese University in Photonics Research and Education

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University and the National Chiao Tung University of Taiwan formally agreed to establish new collaborative education and research programs in photonics and electro-optics, in a ceremony held Tuesday at the Duke campus.

Dr. Chun-Yun Chang, president of the National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), and Duke President Nannerl O. Keohane signed the agreement after touring the Duke campus and the future home of Duke’s Fitzpatrick Center for Photonics and Communication Systems.

Duke's Pratt School of Engineering Dean Kristina M. Johnson calls the new relationship a major asset for the School. "These kinds of international partnerships provide not only research opportunities for our students, they promote cultural understanding that will enhance our vision to educate students as the next generation of leaders in our society."

NCTU is a premier research and educational institution located at the heart of Taiwan’s electro-optics industry. NCTU’s Institute of Electro-Optical Engineering (IEO) has more than 20 full time faculty and 220 graduate students.

“This relationship provides tremendous opportunities for students to conduct frontier technology and science research in an international setting,” said Bob Guenther, associate director of education for the Fitzpatrick Center, the focal point of the Pratt School of Engineering’s strategic initiative in photonics and communications.

Duke and NCTU plan to pursue collaborative research programs that will enable both faculty and student exchanges, and to co-sponsor seminars, workshops, and scientific meetings. Three NCTU faculty including David Shieh who specializes in optical storage, thin film technology and flat panel display, and Ken Hsu, who specializes in optical information and computing, and Yin Chieh Lai, director of the IEO, accompanied Chang to Duke and met with Pratt electrical engineering faculty to begin collaborations. The two groups held a joint workshop in Taiwan in 2002 and are planning a second joint conference in Durham in 2004.

"The Fitzpatrick Center is honored to formalize and deepen our relationship with the Institute of Electro-Optical Engineering,” said David Brady, director of Pratt’s Fitzpatrick Center. “As Fitzpatrick Center faculty and students learned first hand at the IEO/Fitzpatrick Center joint workshop in Hsinchu in December 2002, IEO is a world leader in photonics research and education. Photonics is one of the first new industries of the global market era, through our partnership NCTU and Duke are proud pioneers of truly international education and research."