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Chang-Jin “CJ” Kim, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has been named the inaugural holder of the Volgenau Chair in Engineering.

The chair was established in 2014 by a $2 million endowment gift from UCLA Engineering alumnus Ernst Volgenau, chairman of the information technology firm SRA International, and his wife Sara. The chair honors a professor who is an accomplished researcher, teacher and mentor to future engineering leaders.

Kim, who joined the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science in 1993, is best known for pioneering work in microfluidic MEMS, specifically with the electrowetting on dielectrics or EWOD – that is, manipulating and moving micro-scale size droplets of fluids on surface using only electric voltages. Kim is continuing research in this field, which has applications such as lab-on-a-chip, camera lenses, and electronic displays.

Kim has also made major breakthroughs in creating micro- and nanoscale structures that control the solid-liquid interactions. Applications in this area include reducing friction drag of water vehicles, as well as preventing surface fouling in biology and medicine.

Born in South Korea, Kim received his bachelor’s degree from Seoul National University and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. His honors include the 2015 Ho-Am Prize in Engineering, considered Korea’s highest honor that covers science, engineering, medicine, the arts and community service.