Alic Chen

(almost) all things alic



Professional | Personal


‘Professional’ Bio

Alic is the Research & Development Manager of Health Care, Co-Founder of The Foundry@CITRIS and Program Manager of the Social Apps Lab at CITRIS @ UC Berkeley. With the Health Care Initiative, Alic works on developing large multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary health care research projects. Alic co-manages the operations of The Foundry by helping grow and develop the startup companies currently incubating at CITRIS. Additionally, Alic coordinates the various projects within The Social Apps Lab, including The Mobile App Challenge.

Alic was previously a Post-doctoral Researcher in the Berkeley Manufacturing Institute of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. His research focused on two fronts: (1) Methods to improve LED efficiency through cooling with low-noise piezoelectric fans and (2) design and synthesis of extremely low-cost composite thermoelectric materials for waste heat energy generation.

Prior to this, Alic’s research focused on thermal energy harvesting with thermoelectrics for self-powered sensors, with applications to implantable medical devices, body sensor networks and aging in place. During his Ph.D. research under the supervision of Prof. Paul K. Wright & Prof. James W. Evans, Alic developed new methods for fabricating high-aspect ratio and high density array thermoelectric devices using printed manufacturing methods. His previous experiences include research on human thermometry at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), biomedical devices for uremia detection at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), lab-on-chip BioMEMS systems for disease detection and piezoelectric acoustic sensors for blood pressure monitoring at Johns Hopkins University.

Alic’s current interests include but are not limited to: mobile healthcare technologies; wireless sensor systems for medical and industrial applications; clean energy technologies; rapid prototyping & 3d-printing; novel manufacturing and fabrication techniques; integration of device hardware, software and services.

Alic received his PhD and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley in 2011 and 2009, respectively, and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2007. Alic also doesn’t usually talk about himself in the third-person.

About Me

Born in California to Taiwanese parents, I spent the early part of my childhood living in Penang, Malaysia. There, I attended a British ‘Primary’ School called St. Christopher’s and spent my days, well, being a kid. Around 1994, I moved back to my birthplace of Northridge, CA (just in time for the big earthquake) and lost my British accent and style – I rocked the tartan – along the way. I spent the rest of my formative years in the suburbs of San Fernando Valley, toiling away on ‘college prep’ endeavors: piano, violin, math, tennis, more math, community service, etc. while managing to get in some rounds with my counter-strike clan. Some might say this sounds like a stereotype; I think they may be on to something. After all, my high school, The Buckley School, was founded on the principle that “College begins at two”.

When it came time for college, I decided to move all the way across the country to Baltimore, MD (‘B-more’ as the locals endearingly call it). It was a tumultuous time filled with memorable social experiences and development of lifelong friendships. B-more may not have been the most charming city, but we made the most of it and even covered all the non-drug-related sights featured on ‘The Wire‘ (yes, I know you were about to ask).

4 years after an entire life of schooling, I decided that I hadn’t had enough. I had the opportunity to come back to California and moved to Berkeley to begin my graduate studies. Here, I fell in love with the wonders of the Bay Area: the food, weather, nature and culture. Since then, I’ve called the Bay Area home and will continue to do so until my next adventure.

Speaking of adventure, I would be remiss if I didn’t share my passion for food and travel. I’ve been fortunate enough to extensively travel the world with my family and explore the unique tastes from around the globe. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘foodie’, but I do enjoy good food! So, let’s talk about tech, food, travel or just about anything!