Engineering science and mechanics researcher named International Chair Professor


By Mariah Chuprinski

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM), was recently named International Chair Professor of the National Taipei University of Technology (NTUT) in Taiwan.

Lakhtakia was chosen in recognition of outstanding academic and research activity in the discipline of nanophotonics, according to NTUT. His term will last three years and will conclude in September 2023.

As part of his duties for the position, Lakhtakia will spend at least one week per year at NTUT to engage with faculty and graduate students, with travel expenses funded by NTUT.

“I grew up in a social milieu that had declared the entire world a family millennia ago, so I have always sought out international research collaborations, especially with experimentalists because I am not one,” Lakhtakia said. “During the next three years, I hope to visit Taipei Tech a few times, meet professors and graduate students, entice some to study at Penn State and take a few Penn State students to Taipei. Taipei Tech faculty are very entrepreneurial, and I hope to think more practically in this new position than I have in the past.”

Lakhtakia has collaborated with Yi-Jun Jen, vice president of research at NTUT, since 2009 on various research projects on optical thin films. He previously served in the same position during the 2012-13 academic year.

Jian Hsu, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State and director of the Joint Innovation Partnership in Penn State’s Interdisciplinary Research Office, nominated Lakhtakia for the position.

As part of the appointment, Lakhtakia and Hsu are currently seeking funding from the National Science Foundation to hold three advanced study institute workshops, one for each year of Lakhtakia’s appointment, to be held at NTUT with partners from the University of Dayton in Ohio. The workshops will be focused on the science behind optoelectronic displays, which include television screens and virtual reality glasses.

Lakhtakia has served at Penn State for more than 38 years, beginning his tenure in 1983. He is part of the optoelectronics, photonics and electromagnetics research group in the ESM department. His research interests include sculptured thin films, metamaterials, nanophotonics, nanotechnology, electromagnetics, composite materials, chirality, anisotropic and bianisotropic materials, acoustics, micropolar materials, forensic science, and chaos and fractals.


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College of Engineering Media Relations

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Akhlesh Lakhtakia, who has served at Penn State for more than 38 years as a professor of engineering science and mechanics, has been named the International Chair Professor of the National Taipei University of Technology in Taiwan. IMAGE: PENN STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING