Cao elected to National Academy of Sciences


Hui Cao has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Cao is among 120 new members elected to the academy, which is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a U.S. scientist or engineer. Three other Yale faculty members, Serap Aksoy, Lieping Chen, and Debra Fischer were also elected.

Cao is the John C. Malone Professor of Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Yale faculty member since 2008. Her many honors include an NSF CAREER award, the Packard Fellowship, the Sloan Fellowship, the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Last week she was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Her research is focused on understanding and controlling quantum optical processes in nanostructures. In broad terms, her research is concerned with quantum effects and nano photonic devices, both for fundamental physical studies and for applications. This work involves nanofabrication, material characterization, optical measurement with high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution, and numerical simulation. Her lab aims to better understand and control light propagation, scattering, absorption and lasing in complex photonic nanostructures for a wide range of applications.

“This is a great and well-deserved honor that reflects the impact of Hui’s research,” said Jeffrey Brock, dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science and FAS dean of science. “We are extremely grateful and proud to have her as a critical member of the faculty to advance science and engineering at Yale.”

Charles Ahn, department chair of Applied Physics, also applauded Cao for the recognition. “Hui is a brilliant scientist and treasured colleague and is most deserving of election to the NAS,” he said. 

NAS is a private, nonprofit institution established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The newly elected academy members bring the total number of active members to 2,461 and the total number of international members to 511.