Asian Heritage Stories: A Fireside Chat between the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)
Recorded On: 05/26/2021
Part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Webinar Series: Listening and Acting
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. As part of our Listening and Acting Webinar Series, HFES members Drs. HeeSun Choi, Jing Feng, and Chris Pan sit down for a conversation with Mr. Khanh Vu, CEO and Executive Director of the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers for a conversation about origin stories, immigration, mentoring, and challenges facing people of Asian heritage in America today. Questions from the audience will be submitted via the chat feature on zoom and addressed by the speakers.
Mr. Khánh Vu
CEO and Executive Director
Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
Khánh and his family immigrated to the USA from Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam conflict. Khánh graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a degree in chemical engineering and 3 minors. He worked for Amoco after graduation as a production engineer. He subsequently went to work for the family businesses: Asian grocery and real estate. He helped grow the family business to become the largest Asian grocer in the region. After selling the retail business, Khánh continued to work in real estate.
His passion for helping young adults and fondness for Mines led him back to accepting the position as the fourth Director of the Multi-cultural Engineering Program (MEP), which Khánh was part of MEP's inception in 1989 as a student and was instrumental in the founding of the Asian Student Association in the early90's, which later became PASES (Professional Asian Society of Engineers and Scientists), eventually merged with SASE. As a Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers (SASE) volunteer, Khánh helped plan the 2011 National Conference. Khánh joined SASE full time as the CEO & Executive Director in late2011. Khánh oversaw the doubling of the collegiate chapters and tripling its membership during his 1st year tenure with SASE. SASE has become the largest professional Asian American Organization in the US by numbers of chapters, conference size and organizational support. He looks forward to growing SASE to its full potential.
Khánh enjoys spending time with his wife, Uyển, and 4 children: Thiên Ân “JP”, Thiên Sơn“Vincent”, Thiên Hải “Dominic” & Thiên Hà “Teresa”. His hobbies include youth ministry, volleyball and being a foodie.
Dr. Chris Pan
Senior Research Safety Engineer
Christopher S. Pan is a senior researcher and safety engineer with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in Morgantown, West Virginia. He has achieved NIOSH’s highest research status for his research contributions to occupational safety and health focused on the construction and the transportation industries. He received his B.S. in industrial engineering from Tunghai University in Taiwan. Chris received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering with an emphasis in safety engineering from the highly competitive NIOSH-sponsored Education and Research Center at the University of Cincinnati. He also holds the status of Certified Professional Ergonomist. Chris has built a strong and illustrious career at NIOSH working on a multitude of high visibility projects dealing with complex work-related topics of ergonomics, biomechanics, and safety. Throughout his career he has utilized the principles of safety engineering and human factors engineering in the conduct of research studying the etiology of occupational injury events. He has several patents related to his research. In 2015, he was selected as the CDC Engineer of the Year and U.S. Public Health Service Engineer of the Year. He currently serves as a project officer at NIOSH for three funded studies in the construction sector. For these and related research endeavors, he has been recognized by distinguished peers and professionals in the occupational safety and health community as a competent engineer, safety professional, project manager, ergonomist, inventor, and scientist.
North Carolina State University
Jing Feng is an Associate Professor of Human Factors and Applied Cognition in the Department of Psychology at NC State University. Her research interests include human attention and cognition, human factors in driving and display design. She has served as the chair (2019-2021) and the program chair (2015-2016) of the HFES Aging Technical Group.
Texas Tech University
Dr. Choi is an assistant professor in the Human Factors Program in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Factors and Applied Cognition at North Carolina State University. Prior to joining Texas Tech, she worked in the Division of Safety Research and the Center for Robotics Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Her research primarily focuses on safety issues related to attentional impairments and cognitive declines, with particular interests in the older adults and industry worker populations.