PASADENA—The California Institute of Technology is pleased to announce the election of Caltech alumnus Dr. York Liao to its Board of Trustees.
Liao is one of the cofounders of Varitronix Ltd. of Hong Kong, one of the very first LCD manufacturers in the world and the first such Hong Kong-based venture. In his current role of executive director, his primary responsibilities are strategic planning and new business development within the group of companies under Varitronix International Ltd. Varitronix is ranked in the top 100 public companies in Hong Kong, and now operates out of Hong Kong, China, and Malaysia with four factories and a work force of over two thousand. It has sales offices in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy, and distribution networks in over 30 countries.
Aside from his responsibilities with Varitronix, Liao also serves on several academic and industrial committees. He has served on the councils of City Polytechnic (now City University) and the University of Science and Technology. Since 1994 he has been a member of the University Grants Committee, the overseeing body appointed by the government for the funding of tertiary education in Hong Kong. He has also served on the Industrial and Technology Development Council, the main government advisory body on such issues, and as a board member of the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Center, a government-sponsored incubation center.
In January 1997, Liao was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the Hong Kong community in education and high-tech industry.
Born in China and raised in Hong Kong, Liao came to the United States to attend Caltech, where he earned a BS in physics in 1967. He continued his studies in applied physics at Harvard, and was awarded an MA in 1968 and a PhD in 1973. Liao is married with three children and lives in Hong Kong.
Founded in 1891, Caltech has an enrollment of some 2,000 students, and a faculty of about 280 professorial members and 284 research members. The Institute has more than 19,000 alumni. Caltech employs a staff of more than 1,700 on campus and 5,300 at JPL.
Over the years, 26 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to faculty members and alumni; and two faculty members and one alumnus have been awarded the Crafoord Prize. Forty-three Caltech faculty members and alumni have received the National Medal of Science; and eight alumni (two of whom are also trustees), two additional trustees, and one faculty member have won the National Medal of Technology. Since 1958, 13 faculty members have received the annual California Scientist of the Year award. On the Caltech faculty there are 75 fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and on the faculty and Board of Trustees, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 46 members of the National Academy of Engineering.