June 26, 2009

Yen named editor of international journal

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- An engineering professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will lead an international journal dedicated to nanoengineering and systems as its new editor.

Shing-Chung “Max” Yen, director of the Materials Technology Center, is editor of The Journal of Nanoengineering and Nanosystems (Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part N) as of June 1. The journal, published quarterly, is dedicated to the particular aspects of nanoscale engineering, science and technology involving nanoscale systems and their descriptions. It publishes papers dealing with all aspects of this niche, including modeling, nanocomposites, nanodevices, nanoscale assemblies and manipulation, environmental issues and others.

John A. Koropchak, vice chancellor for research and graduate dean, said Yen’s selection is a great honor for a faculty member and indicates confidence in Yen’s standards and leadership, as well as his international reputation in the field.

“This also reflects positively on the University,” Koropchak said. “Our students,both undergraduate and graduate,gain tremendous experience from their opportunities to learn and study with faculty members such as Dr. Max Yen. We are very proud of Max for his leadership in this truly cutting-edge field of nanoengineering and nanosystems.”

Yen said he wants to build readership among academic researchers and continue building the journal’s prestige by recruiting top researchers to submit their papers for publication. He said he sees the journal bridging the gap between fundamental research in nanotechnology and its applications in the real world.

“These will be devices that really solve problems in the real world, and that benefit society,” Yen said. “Health care, security systems, energy and so on; the journal can bridge that gap and help attract people to this research. Any researcher’s goal is see our work impact society.”

Yen, who will serve an initial five-year term as editor, said he also will focus on increasing paper submissions and establishing strategies to increase readership. The journal, he said, appeals to “those who are really pioneers in nanotechnology and engineering and scientific research.”

“When you look at nanotechnology, it touches on everything,” he said. “And when you look at combining it with bio sciences, information technology and other areas, I believe it will lead to the next great industrial revolution.”

“The journal will be a platform for people to look into these areas,” he said.

Yen will replace his colleague, Rod Ruoff, of the University of Texas at Austin. The two men helped launch the journal about 7 1/2 years ago in the wake of their organizing and participating in a series of nanotechnology conferences, supported by the National Science Foundation and other international funding agencies. Ruoff became its first editor while Yen served on its editorial board.

Yen said a key to the journal’s success also involved building and maintaining a vast global network of researchers who help solicit papers for consideration. He also must ensure every paper is thoroughly reviewed by the journal’s review panel and editorial board, thereby guarding the journal’s credibility.

“The importance of our journal will really depend on how big our network is and who the people are that are publishing in it,” he said. “At the same time, we want to build an incentive for people who are working hard in this area for them to want to be published in our journal. We want to encourage those who are up-and-coming in this field.”