Professor awarded Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Erin Cassidy Hendrick
July 03, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Tak-Sing Wong, the Wormley Early Career Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) by President Donald Trump.

According to the White House, the PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government to “outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.”

This award acknowledges the contributions that Wong has made to the advancement of engineering and the community service spurred by his work. His lab, the Laboratory for Nature Inspired Engineering, seeks to translate phenomena found in nature in order to develop innovative technology, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of human life.

Wong was recently promoted to associate professor within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and holds a courtesy appointment with biomedical engineering. He also was named one of the world’s top 35 innovators under the age of 35 in the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review in 2014, the New Innovator Award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) International Conference, and the 2018 Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“This award is given to a very select number of individuals who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology,” said Karen Thole, distinguished professor and mechanical engineering department head. “Through all of his creative endeavors and scientific leadership, Tak-Sing is a clear example of someone who is worthy of the PECASE recognition.”

Wong co-founded a startup company in 2018, spotLESS Materials, to market an innovative liquid-entrenched smooth surface (LESS) coating. The sprayable, anti-fouling coating can address sticky problems across industries. By creating self-cleaning surfaces, the coating could mitigate hazards and costs associated with maintaining surfaces prone to contamination. Such use could save millions of gallons of water every day, which could be directed toward other important activities or to drought-stricken areas or to regions experiencing chronic water scarcity.

"It is a great honor to receive this award, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my research group members who work tirelessly to translate nature inspirations into new technology to solve some of the most challenging global problems, as well as to my mentors who have been supporting my early career,” Wong said. “I feel very fortunate to work alongside with this group of wonderful students and mentors."

  • Tak-Sing Wong, professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Penn State

    Tak-Sing Wong, professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering at Penn State

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 08, 2019