Lehigh Valley physics professor gets a job at the National Science Foundation

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Professor of Physics at Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV). Tai Yin Huang will spend the next year in a senior position at the National Science Foundation.

Huang was recently selected to serve as program director in NSF’s Geospace Section (GS). It will be operational from January 18-17, 2023, with the possibility of an extension.

During this time, Huang will step down from her teaching duties at PSU-LV. She will start the position remotely and then relocate to NSF’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia when in-person work there resumes. In addition, she will travel to other locations required by the responsibilities of the position.

“I am honored to have been selected for this position. I am very excited to have this opportunity to work in this capacity at NSF,” said Huang.

Huang was selected for secondment under the terms of Title IV of the Interstate Personnel Act of 1970, which facilitates the beneficial sharing of human resources between government and academia by providing for the temporary secondment of personnel to and from the Foundation and state and local government agencies or universities when the work is of mutual benefit to the organizations involved.

As a Geospace Section Rotator at NSF, Huang will work closely with other program officers on various aspects of the GS programs. This includes reviewing the performance of proposals submitted to GS programs, overseeing and managing current GS awards, coordinating with other federal agencies and working on Inter-Agency Agreements (IAAs), and providing support for other aspects of GS programs.

“My main responsibility is to create a new data system program to improve data utilization and design a data infrastructure that better serves the scientific community,” said Huang. “This includes organizing a community workshop to discuss ways to address the industry’s data infrastructure needs and possible options. I will also work with my colleagues in NASA’s Heliophysics Division and coordinate with NSF-wide programs to create the Data Systems program.”

Huang has been a faculty member of PSU-LV since 2002. In addition to being a full professor of physics, she is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering at University Park.

As the first and only faculty member at PSU-LV to receive NSF research grants, Huang has mentored numerous undergraduate research assistants and co-mentored graduate students utilizing these grants. Her main research is in space physics and she is the founder and team leader of the research team IDEA (Interactions, Dynamics, and Energetics in the Atmosphere).

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