UC Regents honor former UC Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien with the super-rank of University Professor

By Patricia McBroom, Public Affairs

BERKELEY-- Former UC Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien has been appointed to the prestigious rank of University Professor by the Regents of the University of California in a meeting this morning (Friday, Sept. 17) in San Francisco.

Tien, who since 1997 has served as the NEC Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Berkeley, was honored for his ground-breaking research in thermal science and engineering and his service to the university. He joins an elite group of professors who carry this uncommon title, eight at the University of California, Berkeley; 19 in the UC system.

Tien served from 1990 to 1997 as UC Berkeley's seventh chancellor. He continued to publish and teach during those years, adding more than 50 journal articles, while serving as chancellor, to his total work of 305 papers and 17 books.

His new position as professor for the whole University of California means that Tien's talents as a scholar and teacher will be employed more broadly throughout the nine campuses for a period of five years. He may then retain the title as a honorific distinction.

"I feel so privileged," said Tien."I've been at the University of California for more than 40 years, and this is a singular honor."

In addition to his years at UC Berkeley which began in 1959, Tien also served as executive vice chancellor and UCI Distinguished Professor on the Irvine campus from 1988-1990. For the past two years, he has held the Boelter Chair as a visiting professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences on the Los Angeles campus.

Tien's skill as a teacher was evident early in his career. In 1962, three years after his appointment as a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, he became the youngest professor, at the age of 26, to win the campus's Distinguished Teaching Award, a record that still stands.

"It is abundantly clear that Professor Tien's contributions to university and public service are nearly unsurpassed," wrote members of the faculty committee appointed by UC President Richard Atkinson to review Tien's personnel file.

"His teaching ranges from the classroom to the laboratory to interfaces with other professions and to major contributions to public policy," the committee said.

Tien is widely acknowledged as a world leader in heat transfer research. His work has ranged from nuclear power to the tiniest nanochip. He contributed to research on space shuttle thermal tiles and evaluated reactor emergency cooling after the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. Most recently, Tien has founded an entirely new field - the study of heat transfer in extraordinarily small, almost invisible micro/nano devices, a field called microscale thermophysical engineering.

Tien's scientific peers who reviewed his appointment as University Professor uniformly described him as "one of the giants in his field" and "the foremost heat transfer researcher in the world."

Tien was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991. He holds 12 honorary doctorates from universities in the United States and abroad.


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