Ching-Tien Liou

For his outstanding accomplishments in engineering education, academic administration, and research, and for his service to his country, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award to Ching-Tien Liou.

National Taiwan Institute of Technology
MSChE '71, PhD '72

Liou bust

On choosing Purdue

I grew interested in chemical engineering in my high school days, and I went to Cheng Kung University for my B.S. degree. At that time Taiwan was just developing its educational system, and only a few universities had graduate programs, so many students went abroad for graduate studies. Some friends who had graduated from Cheng Kung had gone to Purdue, and they gave me a lot of information. I was offered fellowships from several American universities, but I chose Purdue, which even then was considered one of the best universities.

On his career plans as a student

When I started college, I dreamed of being a professor. When I received my Ph.D., I thought I would devote the first five years of my career to one field in order to establish my name and gain some prestige. Then I hoped to extend my interests to related areas for the next five years, and so on.


After graduating from Purdue, I returned to Taiwan. Of course at the beginning of my career as a professor, I never would have dreamed that I could become President of the National Taiwan Institute of Technology (NTIT). In fact, the institute was not founded until 1974.

Liou with friends outside

On his professional accomplishments

When I came back to Taiwan, I had come to appreciate the educational system of the United States. I wanted to improve Taiwan universities, and many of my suggestions were accepted by the government, which led me to move into administration. Since 1976 I have been doing administrative work, but I have gained my experience slowly. I believe the logical thinking I developed at Purdue has been most helpful to me.

From 1987 to 1990 I worked as secretary general of the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. I devoted myself to helping Dr. Kaowen Mao, Minister of Education, revise various educational laws to make our educational systems more adaptable and flexible, to improve the entrance exams of universities and senior high schools, to balance the development of secondary education, to revise the University Law to make colleges and universities emphasize their academic freedom and research, to improve technical and vocational education by making it more practical, to improve teachers' training programs and school curricula to make them more diverse, to strengthen counseling and guidance systems to make them more effective, and to spread continuing education to meet new challenges in our rapidly advancing society. I am sure I made significant contributions to the success of the organization I worked for and thereby to the advancement of my country.

At present I am devoting myself to expanding the NTIT campus, which occupies only 25 acres although the student body has grown to more than 5,000. Our school is only a polytechnic institute, so we devote about 30 percent of our effort to academic education and 70 percent to practical training. I hope to make my school into a polytechnic university, and we can establish some departments or programs related to the humanities and social sciences. Then in addition to practical and theoretical aspects, all our students will have the chance to receive a liberal education.

On the role of Purdue engineering education

I am very proud of my chemical engineering degree from Purdue, which has built and enhanced its reputation in my country as one of the top schools. I hope Purdue's engineering education can emphasize the practical application of theoretical knowledge, which will enable students to extend their problem-solving capacity and make them much more flexible and adaptable in handling new problems and situations in the rapidly changing world economy.



1990- :
President, National Taiwan Institute of Technology. Institute enrolls 5,600 students, including 1,400 graduate students, and has 310 full-time and 300 part-time faculty. Under Dr. Liou, the institute has more than doubled its research funding and substantially grown in faculty and students. Dr. Liou oversaw the creation of a Material Research Center and a Technological and Vocation Education Research Center. Won Distinguished Professor Award of the National Science Council of the Executive Yuan in 1991 and 1992.


1990- :
Standing Director, China Construction Research Center.
1990- :
Board Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Chinese Institute of Engineers.
1994- :
Chairman of Council, Chinese Institute of Chemical Engineering.
Secretary General, Ministry of Education. Helped draft and adopt 1990 Technological and Vocational Education Law and helped revamp mandatory nation wide college entrance examination. Won Distinguished Professor Award of the National Science Council of the Executive Yuan in 1987 and 1988. Director, Energy Conservation Task Force.
Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Engineering School, National Taiwan Institute of Technology. Member of the Evaluation Committee of Industrial Junior Colleges. Member of Preparatory Committee for creation of National Sun Yat-Sen University. Executive Editor of Journal of Chinese Institute of Engineers.
Professor of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan Institute of Technology. Founding Chairman of Chemical Engineering Department, which is now one of the four largest and best in Taiwan. 1973-78:
Professor and Chairman, Department of Automatic Control Engineering, National Chiao Tung University.
Postdoctoral researcher, Purdue. Published seven papers. Since then, Dr. Liou has published more than 100 refereed articles, 30 conference papers, and eight books.

BSChE '66, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan; MSChE '71, PhD '72, Purdue.