Impact of materials on civilization
Speaker:Prof. King-Ning TU
Distinguished Professor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
University of California at Los Angeles, CA, USA
Date & Time:15 Mar 2013 (Friday) 11:00 - 12:00
Venue:Auditorium II, University Library
Organized by:Supporting Group – Chemistry and Physics


Human civilization has been classified as stone age, bronze age, iron age and silicon age. Roughly speaking, it is based on the control of fire or temperature in processing materials for quality improvement of human life.  The success of materials has had very significant impact to the well-being of people.  Sword making, musical instrument, clothing, printing, and china are examples.  On the other hand, the sinking of Titanic and the collapse of World Trade Center are well-known events of steel failure at low and at high temperature, respectively.  Today, semiconductor technology is affecting our life significantly. The cost of making one transistor on a silicon chip is cheaper than the printing of one alphabet on a newspaper.  In this talk, the trend of materials progress and the future of materials education will be emphasized.


Prof. King-Ning Tu received his Ph. D. degree in Applied Physics from Harvard University in 1968. From 1968 to 1993, he spent 25 years at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center as Research Staff Member in Physical Science Department.  During that period, he also served as Senior Manager of Thin Film Science Department and Materials Science Department for 10 years.  In September 1993, he joined the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA as full professor.   He is now a distinguished professor in both Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Electrical Engineering at UCLA.  He is a Fellow of American Physical Society (APS), The Metallurgical Society (TMS), Materials Research Society (MRS), and an Overseas Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, UK.  He was president of MRS in 1981.  He is an academician of Academia Sinica, Republic of China, elected in 2002.  He will receive the 2013 John Bardeen Award for electronic materials of TMS.  He has over 500 journal publications with ICI citations over 18,000 and h-factor of 71.  He co-authored a textbook on “Electronic Thin Film Science,” published by Macmillan in 1992, and authored a textbook on “Electronic Thin-Film Reliability,” published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.  His research interests are in metal-silicon reactions, solder joint reactions, atomic layer reactions in nanowires, polarity effect of electromigration on interfacial reactions, and kinetic theories of interfacial reactions. His website is