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Xuejun Fan awarded endowment to continue research with global impact

Lamar University Professor Xuejun Fan, Ph.D., has been awarded the Mary Ann and Lawrence E. Faust Endowed Professorship in Engineering in recognition of his outstanding research in multi-physics and multi-scale modeling Xuejun Fanand characterization of heterogeneous electronic system.

Fan was selected as the first recipient of this important endowment in part because he is an internationally recognized scholar and expert in modeling and characterization in electronic packaging design and reliability.  

“Dr. Fan is a highly respected and accomplished scholar who brings international research recognition to College of Engineering and Lamar University while providing excellent mentorship to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as junior faculty members at Lamar University,” said Victor Zaloom, intern dean, chair and professor, College of Engineering.  “Dr. Fan is more than deserving of this recognition. His research spans broad areas and crossed many disciplines, and he has demonstrated strong leadership and his research is having a significant impact in his field.”

Fan authored four books and published 27 book chapters. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal papers and over 150 refereed conference proceeding papers. He has received over $2.3 million in research funding from federal agencies such as National Science Foundation, Department of Army as well as many industry sources. Dr. Fan has given over 60 keynotes and tutorials in last several years around the world. He has received two major society awards: Outstanding Sustained Technical Contribution Award in 2017 and Exceptional Technical Achievement Award in 2009 from IEEE Electronic Packaging Society. His papers received the annual “Best Paper Award of IEEE CPMT Transactions” in 2009 and 2016, respectively. Several of the papers by his students also received best paper awards from various conferences.

Fan pioneered work in moisture related reliability of the semiconductor computer microchip. His book, “Moisture Sensitivity of Plastic Packages of IC Devices”, has been downloaded more than 30,000 times since its publication in 2011.  “The work, solving the moisture problem was my signature work,” said Fan. “So now I am known as the ‘moisture man.’”

Since his initial work to ensure the reliability due to moisture attack, Fan has gone on to make many significant developments in the field of multi-physics and multi-scale modeling and characterization in electronic packaging. Another one of Fan’s books, titled "LED Reliability: from Components to Systems," has been downloaded 45,000 times since publication in 2012. In 2017, Fan published “LED Reliability Part 2” to include his most recent contributions since the first book. He presented a keynote paper “Wafer level packaging (WLP): fan-in, fan-out and three-dimensional integration” at the IEEE Eurosime 2010 conference. This single paper has been the most downloaded paper in IEEE Xplore from 2013 to date, from more than 1500 papers from all EuroSimE proceedings in 20 years.

“I’m currently working on electromigration issues,” said Fan. “Electromigration is the most persistent reliability problem in interconnect technology in semiconductor device. Metal wires are getting so thin in today’s 7 nm computer chip, and must carry so much current, that the atoms in the wire can literally get blown out of place; the electron wind can physically move the metal atoms and create a void, which is called electromigration. “I am collaborating with the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands on this important topic.”   

Fan, who is from China and was one of the country’s youngest professors at the age of 27, came to the U.S. to work for Philips and Intel in 2001 and 2004.  Dr. Fan joined Lamar University in 2007 as an associate professor becoming a full professor in 2013 by early promotion.  He received the University Professor Award in 2018. Earlier this year, Fan was distinguished as an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow. Only one-tenth of one percent of IEEE members globally are elevated to the distinction of Fellow in a year. The recognition is one of the most prestigious honors IEEE bestows upon a very limited number of senior IEEE members who have contributed significantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology bringing meaningful value to society.

In addition to receiving numerous letters of recommendation for the Faust Endowed Research Professorship in Engineering from several members of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Fan also received letters of support from Fraunhofer Institute in Germany and the University of Greenwich in the United Kingdom.

“Fan was chosen because of the quality of his nomination, his body of research work and strong support letters for internationally known leaders in the field,” said Zaloom.

The Mary Ann and Lawrence E. Faust Endowed Professorship in Engineering was established in 2017 by a bequest from Mary Ann Faust, a 1961 graduate of Lamar University. Faust received her business degree at Lamar University and her law degree from the University of Houston Thurgood Marshall College of Law. She was a successful advocate for her clients but was also a leader for women in Beaumont and Houston as well as on a national level.  In 1960 she received the Woman of the Year award presented by the Business and Professional Women's Club for her many contributions and achievements. She was also invited to the White House by President John F. Kennedy during his presidency in recognition of her efforts on behalf of women.