It is an honor to be nominated for the ASPE Precision Design TLC Chair position and I am confident my background and experience will contribute to the growth of the society. My bio is as follows:
Leon Chao graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2012, the same year he attended his first ever conference, ASPE. Starting 2013, he served as the mechanical design engineer for the Kibble balance project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, in the Fundamental Electrical Measurements Group. Leon received the US Department of Commerce Allen V. Astin award in 2016 for achievement in metrology and a Masters of Engineering degree in 2019 from his alma mater in Mechanical Engineering. Throughout the years he has authored over 20 peer reviewed technical papers and has one pending patent application for the tabletop Kibble balance. Prior to working at NIST, Leon draws off experiences derived from touring with Shen Yun Performing Arts and internships at MAN Diesel & Turbo and USDA biology labs.
The NIST-4 Kibble balance, built from the ground up, directly contributed to the redefinition of the SI unit of mass, the kilogram, in terms of a fixed value of the Planck constant in 2019 with uncertainties on the order of parts in 108. During that time, Leon also pioneered a tabletop version of the Kibble balance demonstrating the scaling capabilities of the new SI with the intent of commercialization. Leon and his team, recently nicknamed “Balances ‘R Us”, presently work on many other engaging projects including direct realization of torque for the DOD, the LEGO Kibble balance, measuring photon momentum and laser power, as well as the classic torsion balance for measuring the universal gravitational constant.
Leon’s first encounter with precision design, let alone metrology, was after college, way too late in his opinion. With ASPE as a paragon, metrology and precision engineering need to become standalone topics taught at the high school and university level as it is the foundation for building and constructing, well, everything.