Lehigh Valley physics professor lands position at National Science Foundation

Headshot of Penn State Lehigh Valley Professor Tai-Yin Huang

Penn State Lehigh Valley Professor of Physics Tai-Yin Huang has been selected to spend the next year as a program director in the National Science Foundation's Geospace Section.  

Credit: Penn State

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

Huang was recently selected to serve as a program director in the NSF’s Geospace Section (GS). She’ll be on assignment from Jan. 18 to Jan. 17, 2023, with the possibility of extension.

During that period, Huang will step away from her teaching duties at PSU-LV. She’ll start the position remotely, then relocate to NSF’s Alexandria, Virginia, headquarters when in-person work there resumes. In addition, she’ll be traveling to other locations required by the position’s responsibilities.

"I am honored to be selected for this position. I am really excited to have this opportunity to work at NSF in this capacity,” Huang said.

Huang was selected for the assignment under the provisions of Title IV of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970, which facilitates the beneficial sharing of personnel resources among government and academe by providing for the temporary assignments of personnel to and from the foundation and state and local government agencies or institutions of higher education 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 will include merit review of proposals submitted to GS Programs, the oversight and management of current GS awards, coordination with other federal agencies and work on Interagency Agreements (IAAs), as well as providing backup for other aspects of GS Programs.

“My primary responsibility is to create a new Data Systems program to enhance data exploitation and help shape a data infrastructure to better serve the scientific community,” Huang said. “This will include organizing a community workshop to discuss options for addressing the field's needs for data infrastructure and potential options. I will also engage with my counterparts in NASA’s Heliophysics Division and coordinate with NSF-wide programs to create the Data Systems program.”

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

The first and only PSU-LV faculty member to have received NSF research grants, Huang has mentored numerous undergraduate research assistants and co-mentored graduate students using those grants. Her primary research is in space physics, and she is a founder and team lead of the research team IDEA (Interactions, Dynamics, and Energetics in the Atmosphere).