McCormick Prof. Yonggang Huang elected to the Royal Society for impact in engineering science


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Samantha Powers, Assistant Campus Editor

McCormick Prof. Yonggang Huang was elected as a Foreign Member to the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, Northwestern announced Wednesday.

Huang’s election recognized his impact in the engineering field, which includes his role in creating the world’s smallest remote-controlled walking robot alongside collaborator McCormick Prof. John Rogers. The robot is half a millimeter wide and shaped like a crab. It’s capable of twisting, turning and jumping.

The pair also created the smallest human-made structure capable of flight: a microchip the size of a grain of sand. Its ultra-miniature technology includes sensors, power sources and an antenna for wireless communication.

“I am delighted to congratulate Yonggang on this wonderful accomplishment,” McCormick Dean Julio Ottino said in the release. “Yonggang’s body of work and his scientific breakthroughs have made an immense impact and are fully deserving of this election.”

The Royal Society has about 1,700 Fellows and Foreign Members, all of whom are elected for life based on a peer-review process. The society’s members are prominent scientists, including about 85 Nobel Laureates. 

Up to 10 new Foreign Members, like Huang, are elected each year. He joins colleague and McCormick Prof. Zdeněk Bažant, who was elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 2015.

“I am thrilled and excited to become a member of the Royal Society, London, and will actively serve and contribute to this society,” Huang said in the release.

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