Chi-Chang Kao came to SLAC in 2010 from Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, where he served as chairperson of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). In his five years as chairperson of NSLS, Kao undertook major upgrades to the light source's scientific programs and experimental facilities, while also developing potential science programs for NSLS-II, a new light source currently under construction at Brookhaven. His research focuses on X-ray physics, superconductivity, magnetic materials and the properties of materials under high pressure.
Kao earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1980 from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Cornell University in 1988. He joined Brookhaven shortly after, working his way from NSLS postdoctoral research assistant to chair. Kao also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2006 and was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010 for his many contributions to resonant elastic and inelastic X-ray scattering techniques and their application to materials physics, as well as for his leadership at the NSLS.