Paul Ching Wu Chu

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Paul Ching Wu Chu
Chinese: 朱經武(Chu Ching-wu)
Paul Chu (Ching-Wu Chu).jpg
2nd President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
In office
Preceded byWoo Chia-wei
Succeeded byTony F. Chan
Personal details
Born (1941-02-12) February 12, 1941 (age 79)
Changsha, Hunan, China
CitizenshipRepublic of China
United States
NationalityRepublic of China
United States
Alma materTaiwan Provincial Cheng Kung University
Fordham University
University of California at San Diego
AwardsComstock Prize in Physics (1988)
National Medal of Science (1988)
Bernd T. Matthias Prize (1994)
John Fritz Medal (2001)
Scientific career
InstitutionsBell Laboratories
Cleveland State University
University of Houston
HKUST (2001–2009)
Taiwan Comprehensive University System (2012-)
ThesisHigh pressure study on the superconductivity of transition metals and alloys (1968)
Doctoral advisorBernd T. Matthias

Paul Ching Wu Chu, JP (traditional Chinese: 朱經武; simplified Chinese: 朱经武; pinyin: Zhū Jīngwǔ; born February 12, 1941) is a Chinese-American physicist specializing in superconductivity, magnetism, and dielectrics. He is a Professor of physics and T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science in the Physics Department at the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He was the President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 2001 to 2009. In 1987, he was one of the first scientists to demonstrate high-temperature superconductivity.

Early life[edit]

On February 12, 1941, Chu was born in Changsha, Hunan, China. Chu's family was from Taishan, Guangdong Province. Chu spent his childhood in Taiwan.[1]


In 1962, Chu earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Taiwan Provincial Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. In 1965, Chu earned his Master of Science degree from Fordham University. In 1968, Chu earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, San Diego.[2]


After two years of performing industrial research with Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, New Jersey, Chu was appointed assistant professor of physics at Cleveland State University in 1970. He was subsequently promoted to associate professor and professor of physics in 1973 and 1975, respectively.

In 1979, Chu became a professor of physics at the University of Houston, which he still holds. That being said, the discovery touched off a frenzy of scientific excitement exemplified by the Woodstock of physics, at which he was a featured presenter.[3] He was then appointed the director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity.[4] Chu has served as the T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science at the same university since 1987. He also has served as a consultant and visiting staff member at Bell Laboratories, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, the Marshall Space Flight Center, Argonne National Laboratory, and DuPont at various times.[citation needed]

Chu has received numerous awards and honors for his outstanding work in superconductivity, including the National Medal of Science[5] and the Comstock Prize in Physics in 1988,[6] and the American Physical Society's International Prize for New Materials. He was an invited contributor to the White House National Millennium Time Capsule at the National Archives in 2000 and was selected the Best Researcher in the U.S. by US News and World Report in 1990.

In 1989, Chu was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[7] He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (foreign member), Academia Sinica, Russian Academy of Engineering (RAE) and the Third World Academy of Sciences. His research activities extend beyond superconductivity to magnetism and dielectrics.[citation needed]

On November 17, 2014, an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing plague was presented to University of Houston for Chu and his team's 1987 discovery of high temperature superconductors.[8][9]

On September 1, 2001, Chu succeeded Professor Chia-Wei Woo as the President of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Chu's tenure as University President ended officially on 1 September 2009.

Awards and Honors[edit]

  • Honorary Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree from Whittier College. (1991)[10]
  • 2014 IEEE Council on Superconductivity Max Swerdlow Award for Sustained Service to the Applied Superconductivity Community.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Warren, Rachel. "Paul (Ching-Wu) Chu". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Chu, Ching-wu (1968). High pressure study on the superconductivity of transition metals and alloys (Ph.D.). University of California, San Diego. OCLC 17622858 – via ProQuest.
  3. ^ Chang, Kenneth (March 6, 2007). "Physicists Remember When Superconductors Were Hot". New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  4. ^ M. K. Wu; J. R. Ashburn; C. J. Torng; P. H. Hor; R. L. Meng; L. Gao; Z. J. Huang; Y. Q. Wang; C. W. Chu (1987). "Superconductivity at 93 K in a new mixed-phase Y-Ba-Cu-O compound system at ambient pressure". Phys. Rev. Lett. 58 (9): 908–910. Bibcode:1987PhRvL..58..908W. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.58.908. PMID 10035069.
  5. ^ National Science Foundation - The President's National Medal of Science
  6. ^ "Comstock Prize in Physics". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter C" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  8. ^ "IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing Presented to University of Houston for Discovery of High Temperature Superconductors". November 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2019.(The IEEE Milestone plague is mounted in the lobby area of Science Research Building One.)
  9. ^ "Milestones: High Temperature Superconductivity, 1987". Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Honorary Degrees | Whittier College". Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  11. ^ Kever, Jeannie (2014). "Chu, Selvamanickam Honored Superconductivity Achievements". uh.eduedu. Retrieved August 14, 2019.

Additional sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Woo Chia-wei
President of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Succeeded by
Tony F. Chan
Preceded by
President of the Taiwan Comprehensive University System
Succeeded by