General Electric researcher Dr. Hsin-Pang Wang, described by many of his colleagues as an altruistic leader and visionary, has died at 75.
Wang, also known as HP Wang, died on Sept. 6 from colon cancer, according to his obituary. “He was really like a father and uncle to a lot of people,” Jennifer Zhao, executive director of the International Center of the Capital Region, told the Times Union. “He’s the kind of person who leads by example.”Wang was born in Nanjing, China in 1946. His family, including his parents and his six older brothers, fled the country to Taiwan in 1949 amid the civil war between the now-ruling Communists and the American-backed Kuomintang, who later relocated to Taiwan.
After graduating from National Cheng Kung University in 1970, Wang moved to the United States later that year to study mechanical engineering at the University of Florida. There, he met his partner Ting-Ting, whom he married in 1973.
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The couple then relocated to Albany, New York, in 1976, the same year Wang started his 34-year career at General Electric Global Research. During those years, Wang reportedly held more than 100 patents and invented several technologies, including a breakthrough invention that improves gas turbine efficiency for power generation and helps to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Additionally, Wang was an outspoken activist alongside Ting-Ting.
“They have really big hearts and they carried the burden for the younger generation and the visions of rights for the Asian community,” Binglin Li, board chairman of the Chinese Community Center of the Capital District (CCC), was quoted as saying.
Wang and Ting-Ting were key leaders of the CCC – where Wang served as president and board chair – and they even helped raise over $300,000 for a new building.
“Ting-Ting was the force behind it and I think that helped HP a lot,” Lilly Miaw, one of their colleagues, was quoted as saying. “They were a very beautiful couple.”
In 1997, Wang founded General Electric’s Asian Pacific American Forum (APAF). Yu “Y.W.” Wang, a long-time friend and colleague of Wang, was among the first colleagues who the activist approached when he wanted to start an organization for Asians at their company. Currently, the group has 26 chapters and around 6,000 members.
“HP came to my desk and greeted me,” Y.W. said. “I didn’t know he was one of the first Asian scientists in the center: I just knew him as a friendly co-worker.”
Before his death, Wang served as the president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Albany-Mohawk Chapter and the president of the 80-20 Educational Foundation’s Board of Donors.
He also founded the Albany chapter of APAPA (Asian Pacific American Islander Public Affairs Association) and was a board member of Civic Leadership USA (CLUSA).