UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Huanyu (Larry) Cheng, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics and Dorothy Quiggle Career Development Professor in Engineering at Penn State, was recently selected for membership in the Global Young Academy (GYA).
GYA provides the opportunity for leading young scientists from around the world to come together to address topics of global importance, and empowers young researchers to lead international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue to make global decision making evidence-based and inclusive. Members are selected for the excellence of their science and their commitment to service, and are expected to actively contribute to the organization’s goals and activities.
“Being at an early point in my career, I believe it’s important to be part of the collective voice of the younger generation of scientists to help address the critical issues we face and shape the future of science and research — whether that’s through improved education, outreach, career development or research environments,” said Cheng. “As a GYA member, I can bring my energy, experience and efforts to a diverse group of extremely talented peers and interact with other scientists on interdisciplinary projects. Working together, we can positively impact global development and ensure we obtain the visibility, funding and resources we need to advance science and tackle grand societal challenges related to energy, health care and environment.”
Membership in GYA is limited to 200 members, with members being elected for five-year terms. GYA’s current membership base includes individuals from 58 countries, representing all continents.
“One of the primary reasons I applied to GYA was the strong international collaboration it offers with colleagues from a wide range of cultures, disciplines and institutions,” said Cheng. “My research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative by nature, so GYA is a natural fit for me and opens up the possibility of taking my research in a completely new direction that I might not have considered before, while helping other scientists do the same.”
Cheng also intends to represent other young scientists on important national and international issues, especially those related to career development and outreach, through several of GYA’s working groups, including Words of Wisdom and Optimizing Assessment-Promoting Excellence.
He has been actively involved in outreach and educational programs during his academic and professional career. As a doctoral student at Northwestern University, he mentored master’s students and visiting scholars in mechanics simulation and provided academic career guidance to incoming graduate students through the Northwestern Mechanical Engineering Incoming Student Peer Mentoring Program. As a visiting research fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), he mentored undergraduate researchers in micro-fabrication.
Cheng currently leads a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team (engineering science, mechanical, materials and chemical engineering) from Penn State and UIUC to develop hands-on teaching modules on wearable electronics for undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) classes.