For Director-At-Large: H. N. Cheng | September 7, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 36 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 36 | pp. 84-85
Issue Date: September 7, 2009

For Director-At-Large: H. N. Cheng

Department: ACS News
Keywords: American Chemical Society, candidates, Election Statements

H. N. Cheng

Louisiana Section. Southern Regional Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, New Orleans

Born: 1947

Academic record: University of California, Los Angeles, B.S., 1969; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ph.D., 1974

Honors: ACS Fellow, July 2009; Tillmanns-Skolnik Award, ACS Delaware Section, 2006; Distinguished Service Award, ACS Polymer Chemistry Division, 2005; ACS Award, Delaware Section, 1994; Society of Applied Spectroscopy Spectroscopist-of-the-Year, 1986; Hercules Accountability Award, 1997; Hercules Research Fellow Award, 1990; Hercules High Achievement Awards, 1984, 1987; Sigma Xi; Phi Lambda Upsilon; Phi Kappa Phi; Phi Beta Kappa

Professional positions (for past 10 years): Southern Regional Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, research chemist, 2009 to date; Ashland Hercules Water Technologies (formerly Hercules Inc.), senior research fellow, 2002–09, senior program manager, 2000–02, program manager, 1998–2000

Service in ACS national offices: Committee on Committees, 2007–09; Council Policy Committee (nonvoting), 2006; Board of Trustees, Group Insurance Plans for ACS Members, 2008–10; Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA), 2001–06, chair, 2006, committee associate, 2000; CEPA Task Force on Globalization Issues, 2004–05, chair, 2004–05; Board Task Force on Multidisciplinarity, 2004–05, associate chair, 2004–05

Service in ACS offices: Member of ACS since 1982. Polymer Chemistry Division: councilor, 2004–09; member-at-large, 2002–03; Bylaws Committee, 2007–09; Industrial Sponsors Committee, 1997–2005; Membership Committee, 1999–2008, cochair, 2000–01. Delaware Section: councilor, 2000–03; chair, 1997; chair-elect, 1996; Long-Range Planning Committee, chair, 2003–09; Nominating Committee, chair, 1997–99; Carothers Committee, 1999–2002, chair, 1996–97; Del-Chem Bulletin Advisory Committee, 1999–2000; Annual Report Committee, 2004–08

Member: Technical Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry, Sigma Xi, Chinese American Chemical Society. ACS Divisions: Polymer Chemistry, Polymeric Materials: Science & Engineering, and Professional Relations

Related activities: International Symposium on Polymer Analysis & Characterization, Governing Board member, 2007–09; Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Polytechnic University, New York, Advisory Board member, 2006–08; University of Delaware, member of Ph.D. committees for two graduate students, lecturer for graduate-level courses; ACS Delaware Section, organizer of Teacher Appreciation Night, 1997–2003; International Journal of Polymer Analysis & Characterization, associate editor, 1996–2009. Organized or coorganized 16 symposia at ACS national meetings in the past 11 years; published 135 scientific articles; edited six books; hold 23 U.S. patents and patent publications on biocatalysis, polymer applications, and pulp/paper chemistry


Cheng's Statement

I am honored to be a candidate for director-at-large of the ACS Board of Directors during this time of change for the chemical enterprise. The economic news in recent months has not been very encouraging. We read about job losses, mergers, salary freezes, and furloughs. Chemical companies are under increasing pressure to increase productivity and to decrease cost. Pharmaceutical companies are also cutting back on employment. In view of these challenges, we need to work hard on behalf of our members.

From studies of history we know that a great nation needs strong leadership, supportive citizens, competitive advantages, the ability to adapt to change, and a national spirit to keep the nation going in good or bad times. Likewise, if ACS is to continue its success in the future, it needs these same attributes. I believe it is the role of the board to ensure the current and future success of ACS, and I shall highlight selected issues that are critical to the society.

Jobs. These days, jobs are scarce and keeping one can be precarious. We must foremost continue to provide services to our members in employment, career services, alternative careers, and retirement planning. For many years, I served on the Committee on Economic & Professional Affairs (CEPA) as a member and as chair, and I feel strongly that ACS needs to continue its strong employment and career services. This is key to retaining members and to maintaining their interest.

Education. The long-term future of chemistry depends on a healthy pipeline of scientists and engineers from colleges and universities. ACS has always had strong educational programs. We need to continue these programs and work with federal and state governments to get continued support for science education. We also need to attract top students to study chemistry and to recruit them to become ACS members.

Involvement in ACS. To be successful, we need members who care about the chemical enterprise and want to make it better. We must energize our members, inform them of the ongoing issues, and remind them of the benefits of ACS membership. A more difficult challenge is to get them interested in volunteering their time. For example, even though industrial members constitute 60% of our membership, a great deal fewer industrial members are engaged in ACS governance. I am currently serving as chair of the Subcommittee on Industrial Chemists Pipeline of the Committee on Committees (ConC) in an effort to increase industrial participation. Likewise, we need to recruit diverse members and involve them in ACS governance. A growing segment of our members are senior chemists. I applaud ConC for the formation of the Task Force on Senior Chemists this year, and I am currently serving as the ConC liaison to this group.

Change and Adaptability. The world is changing, and we need to adapt. Two well-known trends are globalization and multidisciplinarity. As the chemical enterprise becomes global, we are competing internationally with other countries that have different salary structures and safety standards. At the same time, the boundary between chemistry and other disciplines is becoming blurred. Both trends are affecting jobs, products, and industry. I have served in leadership roles on task forces dealing with globalization and multidisciplinarity. I believe we need close collaboration among government labs, industry, and academia in order to work together to ensure the continued health of the chemical enterprise.

Leadership and Momentum. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers and staff, ACS has a lot of momentum right now. A good strategic plan is in place. We need the buy-in from our members to make it happen. The ACS Leadership Development System provides a large number of training courses that are helpful to members in their careers. The ACS Fellows program has just been inaugurated. We must help and support one another to keep the momentum going.

I have been active in ACS for quite a while and have served in many capacities and assignments. Over the years, I have gained a good knowledge of the society. From my professional career, I have experience in developing new products, organizing projects, managing budgets, and evaluating new business opportunities. I am active in research, in publications, and in organizing meetings and symposia. Above all, I care about chemistry, and I am passionate about our profession. If elected, I am ready to work hard on the board and to represent my fellow members. I am interested in your input. If you have any thoughts or concerns, please contact me at


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