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SBU News > Stony Brook Matters > Alumni Spotlight > Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Hong Zhang ’91 and Liya Liang ’94 Establish Fellowship at Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Hong Zhang ’91 and Liya Liang ’94 Establish Fellowship at Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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The couple’s $300,000 gift will help further CEAS’ tradition of developing cutting-edge research

Hong Zhang and Liya Liang
Hong Zhang ’91 and Liya Liang ’94

Stony Brook provided Hong Zhang a world-class education and helped launch his career in material science and engineering.

But what mattered most to the 1991 graduate — and what still matters most — is that the University made him feel at home.

“I came to the United States from China in 1986, and I knew no one here,” said Zhang, who owns Precision TEM in California’s Silicon Valley with his wife and fellow Stony Brook alum Liya Liang ’94. “Stony Brook became my family. Stony Brook determined our future.”

In appreciation of Stony Brook’s personal and financial support when they moved from Beijing nearly three decades ago and in thanks to the success of their business, Zhang and Liang have donated $300,000 to establish the “Liya Liang ’94 and Hong Zhang ’91 Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Materials Science” at Stony Brook’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS).

“Stony Brook gave me a full scholarship, an excellent education and a great alumni network, which helped me to start my career in the semiconductor industry and to create my business,” said Zhang of Fremont, Calif. On campus, Zhang and Liang lived in Stage XVI, the apartment complex that housed married students. They both earned a Ph.D. in materials science.

“We are just trying to do our part to show our appreciation — to give back and to help students and the faculty,” he said.

Zhang and Liang, whose business offers electron microscopy services to high tech industry leaders — including the likes of Google, Apple, Applied Materials, Lam Research and Avago — have now given more than $400,000 to Stony Brook.

Zhang said he met with CEAS Dean Yacov Shamash when he visited Stony Brook’s campus in 2012 and that he was excited to see the improvements and advancements made at CEAS.

“At CEAS, we are always looking to create research opportunities for our students and faculty,” Shamash said. “The generosity of donors such as Liya and Hong allow the college to continue its tradition of developing cutting-edge research programs that probe the frontiers of knowledge.”

The success of Zhang and Liang is certainly a testament to that tradition.

“The innovative ideas that have led to the success of our business all started at Stony Brook,” Zhang said.

— Brian Harmon

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