MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering, Jin Au Kong, internationally recognized for his work in electromagnetic wave theory and applications, died March 12 at age 65 from complications due to pneumonia.
Kong was born, Dec. 27, 1942 in Kiangsu, China. Earning his M.S. in 1965 from Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Kong served as a second-Lieutenant in the Chinese Air Force in Taiwan (1962-63). After completing his PhD in 1968 at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, Kong remained there to conduct postdoctoral work as a Research Engineer in the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1968-69.
Jin Au Kong became a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1969 as assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics. As Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, Kong was Chair of Area IV on Energy and Electromagnetic Systems from 1984 through 2003 and was director of the RLE Center for Electromagnetic Theory and Applications, CETA, from 1989. He supervised well over 100 students toward completion of their theses in EECS.
Kong became an international figure in science through his service and external associations with public and private organizations world wide. From 1977 Kong served the United Nations for three years as a high-level consultant to the Under-Secretary-General on science and technology and as an Inter-regional Advisor on remote sensing technology for the Department of Technical Cooperation for Development. Among his many consulting appointments, he consulted for the New York Port of Authority in 1971, the Army Engineering Topographical Laboratory in 1979, the Huges Aircraft Company in 1981, the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center from 1985 to 1990 and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1979 to 1990. He also served as an External Examiner for the Electronics Department of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1981-83 and the University of Malaysia in 1984 and 1991. Kong was a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society from 1982-84 and a member of the Advisory Council for the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Pennsylvania from 1987-90.
Jin Kong's research interest in the area of electromagnetic wave propagation, radiation and scattering and applications in microwave remote sensing, geophysical exploration and electromagnetic transmission and coupling in microelectronic integrated circuits has led to publication of over 30 books including Electromagnetic Wave Theory and over 600 refereed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. Kong also was Editor for the Wiley Series in Remote Sensing, Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications, and Chief Editor for the book series Progress in Electromagnetics Research.
In 2006 Jin Au Kong was awarded the Docteur Honoris Causa by the University of Nantes at a ceremony in Nantes, France. He was honored for "his significant contributions to the fundamental theories of electromagnetism, his leadership in the novel application of electromagnetic detection techniques to important problems in geophysics, and to his distinguished service to industry, governments, the United Nations, and to the global academic and research community." Prof. Kong was also the recipient of an honoris causa from Universite Paris X: Nanterre the same year.
Jin Au Kong leaves his wife Wenyuan Kong, lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and their two children Shing and David.
The public memorial service celebrating Professor Jin Au Kong's life and accomplishments will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2008 at the Douglass Funeral Home, 51 Worthen Road in Lexington, Massachusetts. The visitation period will be held from 1-3pm and the memorial service from 3-5pm.
A collection of pictures, videos, and stories commemorating Professor Kong's vibrant life will be on display during the memorial service. If you would like to add to these memorabilia, please email your submissions to ProfessorJAKong@gmail.com by Thursday, March 20.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Jin Au Kong Memorial Fund may be sent to 72 Hillcrest Ave, Lexington, MA 02420.
See: MIT News Office article, March 13, 2008 "Jin Au Kong, long-serving EECS professor, dies aged 65."