Jim Chen: In Memoriam

Dr. Hsing-Yao "Jim" Chen

Long-time SID member Dr. Hsing-Yao "Jim" Chen passed away on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, in Barrington, IL. He was 86 years old.

Chen was born in Fuzhou, China, to the late Dr. K.C. and Tan Chen. He obtained a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1968. During his career, he worked at CBS Labs on a NASA project; at Zenith on flat-panel displays; and at RCA, where he became an expert in electron gun design and received the prestigious David Sarnoff Award. For the last 20 years of his career, he worked for CPT (in Taiwan). He was granted over 50 patents, primarily pertaining to CRT electron guns, and served as an adjunct university professor in China.

Chen was active in the Society for Information Display for many years, helping to establish chapters in Taipei and Beijing. He was the founding director of the Taipei chapter, serving in that capacity from 1991 to 1993. He was a Fellow and lifetime member of both SID and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and served on SID’s Honors and Awards Committee from 2002 to 2012, and on SID’s Symposium Program Committee from 1989 until his death in 2017. "Jim believed SID was an important asset to the display community," says his wife, Sylvia Chen. She adds that he enjoyed working with young engineers and helping them to advance in their fields.

After retiring at 80, Chen remained active with SID and also worked on "passion projects" involving fusion and global warming. He loved traveling the world and spending time with his family and friends.

Jim is survived by Sylvia, his wife of 52 years; daughter Elizabeth Echternach of Lititz, PA; son Steven Chen of Nashua, NH; daughter Deborah Chen-Sloan of Landisville, PA; and four grandchildren: Drew Echternach, Erika Echternach, Ethan Chen, and Alex Chen. His two younger sisters, Shouhua Chen de Yearwood and Sue May Chen, live in Taiwan, and his three brothers (Xing-Guang Chen, Lawrence Hsing-Hsia Chen and Hsing-Chang Chen) predeceased him.

Donations in Dr. Chen's memory may be sent to either: FOMT (Friends of Mariners Trail) Box 2341, Manitowoc, WI 54221-2341; or to JourneyCare Foundation, 2050 Clair Court, Glenview, IL 60025 (

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