SLAC Director Chi-Chang Kao, a noted X-ray scientist, came to SLAC in 2010 to serve as associate laboratory director for the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource. He became SLAC’s fifth director in November 2012.
Previously, Kao served for five years as chairperson of the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. He undertook major upgrades to the light source's scientific programs and experimental facilities while developing potential science programs for NSLS-II, one of the newest and most advanced synchrotron facilities in the world. His research focuses on X-ray physics, superconductivity, magnetic materials and the properties of materials under high pressure.
Kao earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1980 from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1988. He joined Brookhaven shortly afterward, working his way from NSLS postdoctoral research assistant to chair. Kao also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University.
He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2006 and was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010 for his many contributions to resonant elastic and inelastic X-ray scattering techniques and their application to materials physics, as well as for his leadership at the NSLS.