Po-Hsun Huang, doctoral candidate in engineering science and mechanics, recently received the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award and Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal from the Penn State Graduate School.

The award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and professional accomplishment, is considered to be among the most prestigious available to Penn State graduate students. It provides $5,000 in funding to full-time research doctorate students who have passed their comprehensive examinations and have received approval of their dissertation topic.

Huang, who is a member of the research group led by Tony Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics and Huck Distinguished Chair in Bioengineering Science, received the award for his dissertation titled “Lab-on-a-chip systems enabled by acoustic streaming effects.”

Through his research, Huang has developed a series of acoustofluidic (i.e., fusion of acoustics and microfluidics) technologies that are able to control and manipulate fluids and micro-objects using the acoustic streaming effects. These technologies are invaluable in many microfluidic applications due to their advantages of high biocompatibility, ease of manipulation, high flexibility and controllability, and low power consumption.

“Po-Hsun has developed a really novel technology that can effectively pump fluids in the micro/nanoscale with high efficiency, high precision, and high reliability while maintaining simplicity and low cost,” said Huang. “This technology could be a game changer in the field of medical diagnostics. I am extremely proud of his work.”

Huang has first-authored and co-authored 29 journal publications and has had five research papers highlighted by the National Science Foundation. Five of his research works on acoustofluidics have also been featured as front cover images on Applied Physics Letters, Small, and Lab on a Chip, and three of his papers were selected as the HOT Articles for Lab on a Chip.

Twelve additional graduate students received the Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award and were honored during the inaugural Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held on April 27.