Yue Kuo

Paying it forward

While working in a factory in China, Yue Kuo came across his first ECS journal, the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES).

“That was the first time I learned about ECS,” said Kuo, past president of ECS. “And then, when I came to the United States to attend Columbia University as a graduate student, my professor also read a lot of ECS journals. And later, when I started working and got a job in the semiconductor field, that’s when I started getting involved with ECS because the ECS Transactions (ECST) are very famous in that area.”

Kuo says that involvement included attending ECS’s biannual meeting. He began presenting, attending mixers, meeting people—as many attendees do—and was eventually recruited to organize a conference.


“I was approached by an ECS member who began asking me about the work I was doing. I explained I was doing semiconductor work for thin film transistors, which at that time was very hard. So she asked me if I’d be interested in organizing an ECS conference and I agreed,” said Kuo.

That conference, known as the Thin Film Transistor symposium, started by Kuo, is the world’s longest continually held conference in that field; next year marks its 30th anniversary.

Paying it forward

Just as someone’s chat with Kuo at an ECS meeting opened up doors, Kuo’s conversations with other ECS members at meetings have opened up doors for others.

“A very famous professor in Japan told me that we had met some 20-some years ago when he was graduate student. He said I had encouraged him in his ECS activities, and he became involved with the Society because of it. Because of the conversation I had with him 20 years ago, it had encouraged him to join. As an ECS member, you never know how you may influence young researchers directly and indirectly,” said Kuo, who continues to encourage others to join the Society today.

Kuo frequently travels within the U.S. and throughout the world to share what ECS stands for and encourage prospective members to join, including in late 2018, when he went on a two-month trip across Asia to share ECS’s message.

So, why become an ECS member?

Kuo says in addition to receiving member discounts on ECS’s biannual meetings—a discount that covers the ECS membership fee—members also receive access to networking events, allowing them more than opportunity to meet prominent researchers in their fields.

“For example, they can meet authors whose papers they’ve read and potentially build relationships with them and other in their same field,” said Kuo. “We also offer various awards specifically offered to ECS members only. Members can also join divisions, co-organize conferences, and influence the future direction of ECS.”