Jiayu Chen receives Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Jiayu Chen, (’93 electrical engineering) has been named a recipient of a 2019 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award.

The award is presented by the Penn State College of Engineering to recognize alumni who have achieved high levels of professional success. It has been presented each year since 1966 to one alumnus or alumna from each department.

Chen received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Zhejiang University in 1982 and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tsinghua University in 1984. After working as a lecturer and a researcher at Tsinghua University for a few years, he decided to pursue his PhD in the United States.

He became interested in Penn State at the recommendation of a friend. Feeling that many of the engineering challenges he wished to solve required a knowledge of both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering, he decided to pursue his PhD in electrical engineering to strengthen his knowledge in that area. Chen credits his time at Penn State as positively influencing his career in large part because of his advisor, the late Eric Cross, former Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering.

“My advisor Eric Cross was incredibly intelligent, kind and hardworking. He was also a great mentor. He guided me to elevate my life to the next level, personally and professionally,” said Chen. “Penn State was the best place to learn things not only STEM related but also life. There are so many great professors there like Eric Cross. It’s incredible.”

After receiving his PhD, Chen worked as a senior design engineer and global engineering manager at GE medical systems, where he developed ultrasound transducers for various applications. Chen said he was drawn to developing medical equipment because of the opportunity to improve the quality of people’s lives.

“In 1997, I received a promotion and had the opportunity to travel globally and understand needs from a global perspective. This helped to confirm that the best applications of engineering are to help people, especially in poorer countries.”

From 2000 to 2003, he worked as a senior system manager at Ciena, a network equipment manufacturer, where he led his team in the development of state-of-the-art equipment. 

“When I [had that job], we were producing the best network-equipment and working with fast-moving technology. But I didn’t feel the reward like I did with medical devices. That’s why I moved back to medical devices in 2003. As engineers we look for how we can help people improve their lives. From that perspective, medical devices are the way to go.”

He served as the vice president of engineering at U-Systems, Inc. from 2003-2012, where his achievements included receiving over 10 patents and inventing the world’s first automated breast ultrasound system for breast cancer screening. He next worked as the chief engineer at General Imaging Ultrasound at GE Healthcare until assuming his current role as vice president of engineering and advance technologies at Gynesonics in 2016. In this position, he leads the engineering team in creating transformational products for minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Chen has published over 25 journal and conference papers and holds more than 20 U.S. patents. He is a member of IEEE as well as the Penn State School of EECS’s IPAC (Industrial and Professional Advising Council). He also serves on the advisory boards of two medical device startup companies.

Chen lives in California with his wife, whom he met at Penn State while she was working on her PhD in material science. They have a son and a daughter, both of whom are working in the Bay Area in California. 

Looking back on his impressive career, Chen credits his educational foundation as the basis of his success. 

“Education is very important to people’s lives, and Penn State provides great education to students. Even after all these years, I’m grateful that Penn State’s education is outstanding.”


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Sarah Small


Jiayu Chen

Jiayu Chen

“Education is very important to people’s lives, and Penn State provides great education to students. Even after all these years, I’m grateful that Penn State’s education is outstanding.”



The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was created in the spring of 2015 to allow greater access to courses offered by both departments for undergraduate and graduate students in exciting collaborative research in fields.

We offer B.S. degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering and data science and graduate degrees (master's degrees and Ph.D.'s) in electrical engineering and computer science and engineering. EECS focuses on the convergence of technologies and disciplines to meet today’s industrial demands.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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University Park, PA 16802


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Department of Electrical Engineering