Bono Po-Jen Shih is an interdisciplinary scholar working in the intersection of philosophy, history, and sociology of engineering with an eye to research implications for contemporary engineering practice and education. Expanding on a part of his dissertation that broadly surveys historical ideas of engineering in Western civilization since antiquity, his postdoctoral fellowship with the Science History Institute focuses on chemical engineering since the late 19th century. His research project, “Engineering at the Crossroads of Chemistry and Industry: Developing Ideas of Chemical Engineering, 1880–1980,” seeks to investigate how chemical engineers formed their own professional identity and developed a distinctive philosophy of engineering in terms of ideas about progress, technology advancement, and society-technology relations.
Shih earned his PhD and MS in science and technology studies (STS) from Virginia Tech. He also holds a graduate certificate in engineering education (ENGE) from Virginia Tech and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from National Taiwan University. Prior to his fellowship he worked as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) for the ENGE department of Virginia Tech.