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Research and Development at NTHU

publish date : 2019-10-17 update date : 2019-12-10


In the past 57 years, National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) has established itself as one of the top research universities in Taiwan. Currently NTHU has ten colleges, i.e., Colleges of Science, Engineering, Nuclear Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Technology Management, Tsing Hua,  Education and Arts.

Current Accomplishments of Key Research Fields

The University administration provides a stimulating and nurturing environment within which our faculty can offer quality teaching and conduct innovative research. With the special funding obtained from the Ministry of Education, NTHU is upgrading teaching and research with the goal of ascending into the rank of world leading universities. NTHU has selected, after careful deliberation on our research strengths, to concentrate in four major research areas. These are: 1. Frontier Research Center on Fundamental and Applied Sciences of Matters, 2. Center for Quantum Technology, 3. High Entropy Materials Center (HEMC), and 4. The Brain Research Center (BRC). In each and every chosen area, NTHU has already accomplished a great deal. The followings are notable results:

(1) Frontier Research Center on Fundamental and Applied Sciences of Matters

Frontier Research Center on Fundamental and Applied Sciences of Matters comprises three academic projects on synthetic chemistry and nanomaterials science, two applied science projects on drug delivery and vaccine commercialization and one research service center on the platform of semiconductor materials. This project integrates four sub-projects: (1) Metal thin-layer materials, This project aims to develop thin layer materials including phosphorescent emitters and delayed fluorescence organic materials for durable organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs). (2) Platforms for emerging semiconductor materials, NTHU is going to build the first EUV-material center in Taiwan. (3) Novel drug/gene delievery systems, the biosensor can be integrated with the therapeutic approaches developed by bubble system, multifunctional theranostic nanosystem, multifunctional tumor-targeted nanoparticle . (4) Innovative vaccine platform, this team aims to integrate the expertise in recombinant protein antigen design, adjuvant nanotechnology-based controlled slow release, immunology and animal experiments to develop a PRRS vaccine.

The center has outstanding performance in academic publications that can be ranked within top 30 in the worldwide materials research. In this center, we regroup our expertise including 38 PI to from four project teams to match the green energy, semiconductor and biotechnology of the government supported [5+2] industry innovation. The director is Prof. Rai-Shung Liu. Our target is to catch academic levels of Georgia Institute of Technology, Chemistry & Biochemistry Department.

(2) Center for Quantum Technology

Center for Quantum Technology based on the physics department of National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), the center for quantum technology is formed by 50 members across departments and universities in Taiwan. The mission of the center is to develop core techniques and cultivate talents in quantum technology so that Taiwan can participate the second quantum revolution and develop its international competitiveness. On the technique side, by integrating the current technique advantage in ultracold atoms/photon systems of the AMO group in NTHU with the Condensed Matter Physics group that has excellent research experience in the development of solid-state materials in the past, the center is aiming to develop the core technique needed to realize the quantum computer and quantum communication. Four subjects will be developed through 4 subprojects: (1) Realization, manipulation and computation of quantum bit: processing and development of superconducting qubits, quantum simulation using superconducting qubits. (2) Quantum communication: establish quantum communication network and test platform for quantum key distribution, develop single photon and entangled photon sources, and develop related technique (such as quantum memory) for quantum repeater. (3) Quantum metrology and simulation: generation of squeezed light and develop continuous variable qubit, quantum simulations based on ultra cold atoms (Rydberg atoms and etc), precision measurement and quantum metrology. (4) Quantum materials: develop quantum materials that can potentially host qubit, develop topological materials that can host Majorana Fermions, and develop Majorana Fermion based topological qubit.

(3) High Entropy Materials Center

High Entropy Materials Center (HEMC) was established on January 1, 2018. Professor Jien-Wei Yeh is the director of the center. The center has the funding support from the Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and from the Booster Project by Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). The goals of the center are twofold: to achieve the academic excellence and to create featured industries from high-entropy materials in Taiwan and the world.

It should be mentioned that “High-Entropy Materials (HEMs)” field was originated from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan in 1995 by Prof. Jien-Wei Yeh and his team. The field has won the world-wide attentions and followers since their first publication of five papers on high-entropy alloys (HEAs) in 2004.

HEMC integrates 30 specialized professors from different universities, including 17 professors of NTHU, to execute nine high-entropy material projects which cover special alloys, hard metals, superalloys, superhigh-temperature-resistant composites, corrosion-resistant alloys, functional films, functional ceramics, biomedical materials and related sciences. In addition to publishing high-quality papers, more emphasis is placed on the applications of HEMs in machinery, green energy, defense, aerospace, and biomedical industries, not only to overcome bottlenecks of conventional materials, but also to reduce the dependence of key materials from foreign countries.

(4) Brain Research Center (BRC)

The Brain Research Center (BRC) at National Tsing Hua University initially was organized in 2004 by Founding Director, Professor Ann-Shyn Chiang. The BRC’s mission is to understand now the brain functions to yield memory and other complex behaviors. New technologies have been developed to discover first in fruit flies the neural circuits underlying these complex behaviors and genes and biochemistries that function within the different neurons of the circuit. Supported by the Higher Education Sprout Project, a join fund from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology, BRC works closely with more than 40 interdisciplinary and international laboratories to advance its mission objectives. Six main approaches are taken: (i) to construct brain-wide 3D wiring diagrams at the resolution of a single neuron and its synapses (connections) with other neurons in the circuit; (ii) to develop innovative tools to manipulate the functions in these individual neurons ; (iii) to understand how brain circuits encode and decode information and then map memory engrams (structural changes at synapses); (iv) to develop strong Artificial Intelligence (AI) to decode and mimic circuit computations; (v) to translate these discoveries in fruit flies to other mammalian systems eventually to promote new medical applications; and (vi) to cultivate next-generation leaders in brain science. BRC is committed to performing world-class research through an interdisciplinary approach and by nurturing a diverse community of different scientific disciplines. We welcome collaborators and talents from different backgrounds to join us on this marvelous journey toward understanding the brain!

Other Outstanding Performance

NTHU has taken effective measures to uplift our performances in research as well as teaching and has achieved concrete results. In the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2019, NTHU ranked 535th. In the QS World University Rankings, NTHU has moved up from the 343rd place in 2006 to the 173nd in 2020. In The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in 2020, NTHU ranked 366th, the best ranking of all universities in Taiwan. Also in QS and THE’s ranking, NTHU is ahead of all other Taiwanese universities in two important categories—“citations per faculty” (QS) and “citations per paper” (THE). Furthermore, Moreover, we have reinvigorated our teaching and research programs by instituting new policies in the areas of faculty recruitment and retention, admission, as well as curricula design.

(1) Faculty Recruitment and Retention

NTHU has implemented effective measures to attract and retain distinguished scholars. Specifically, these include: a) a meritorious salary system and additional ranks; b) ample start-up funds for our new recruits and on campus housing facilities; and, c) advanced research facilities. NTHU established “Tsing Hua Laboratory”, where state-of-art facilities will be housed together to allow greater accessibility and efficiency for frontier research.

(2) Restructuring Undergraduate Education

NTHU established a Task Force on Undergraduate Education in 2007. Divided into three groups, their missions were to review the state of undergraduate education, to develop plans to establish the Tsing Hua College, and to improve the quality of our basic education program. The goal of Tsing Hua College is to prepare students to become future leaders in society who are not only well-versed in their academic subjects but also have a caring attitude toward fellow human beings and will be active participants in social services.

(3) Internationalizing Our Campus

NTHU has officially established the Office of International Affairs to administer our international programs. These include: I. internationalizing our campus, II. expanding foreign admissions, III. promoting international faculty and student exchanges as well as cooperative research projects. To facilitate the recruitment of international students, NTHU has developed an innovative and successful program by enlisting the support from the industrial sectors. In this new program, our partner companies provide scholarships for foreign students when they are enrolled and opportunities of internship/employment after their graduation.

(4) Improving Learning and Research Environment

NTHU is making concerted efforts to further improve our teaching learning and research environment. NTHU has constructed a new classroom building with the generous donation from the Delta Electronics Company and a new Learning Resource Center with the support from Macronix International Company. In addition, NTHU has started the construction of an interdisciplinary laboratory where core research facilities and equipments will be installed to provide easy access and greater efficiency.