AE Chair Vigor Yang elected to National Academy of Engineering

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The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) today announced that it has elected AE School Chair and W. R. T. Oakes Professor Dr. Vigor Yang as a member of the exclusive organization.

In announcing Yang's election, the NAE commended his “contributions to combustion physics in propulsion systems and to aerospace engineering education.”

Joining Yang in this honor were two other Georgia Tech faculty, Deepak Divan (ECE) andAjit P. Yoganathan (BME). All three will be formally inducted in ceremonies to be held in Washington, D.C., this October.

The typically low-key Yang was reticent about commenting on the career-defining honor, but his colleagues were not.

"Vigor is a world-class scholar and a gifted teacher," said associate chair Dr. Lakshmi Sankar, a Regents Professor.

"He has raised a generation of student researchers who have gone on to be highly successful in industry and academia. His innovations are in wide use within industries and government labs. This is a well-deserved, long overdue recognition of all he has done for our nation and our field. I am thrilled."

Election to NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

“Deepak, Vigor and Ajit have made exceptional contributions to their fields and to Georgia Tech,” said Gary S. May, dean of the College of Engineering.

“This is a tremendous honor for these outstanding and deserving researchers. We are honored to have them as part of our engineering faculty.”

Yang received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1984. Following a year as research fellow in jet propulsion at Caltech, he joined the Pennsylvania State University in 1985, becoming the John L. and Genevieve H. Chair in Engineering in 2006. He joined Georgia Tech as the aerospace engineering school chair in January 2009.

Yang’s research encompasses a wide spectrum of topics, including combustion instabilities in propulsion systems, chemically reacting flows in air-breathing and rocket engines, combustion of energetic materials, high-pressure transport phenomena and combustion, active control of gas-turbine combustion dynamics, and nanotechnologies for propulsion and energetic applications. He has established, as the principal or co-principal investigator, more than 68 research projects dealing with fluid dynamics and combustion in aerospace propulsion and power systems.

Minutes after the NAE announcement was made, Yang was surrounded by faculty and other colleagues who wanted to congratulate him. Seen here are Dr. Julian Rimoli, left, and Dr. Graeme Kennedy. Dr. Yang met their congratulations by saying "You're next."
Other GT-AE faculty who have been elected to the NAE include: Dr. Ben T. Zinn, Dr. Robert Braun, Dr. Robert Loewy and  Dr. Don P. Giddens.




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