Nina Welding | August 6, 2020
Kwang-Tzu Yang, professor emeritus of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, died in his home Wednesday, July 29.
He will be remembered by his students and colleagues for his joy, his genuine smile and his significant contributions to the field of thermal sciences. An article in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, celebrating his 80th birthday and numerous accomplishments, described his approach to life: “Yet to him it is all simply a search for understanding and a part of the unity of knowledge…and he is always looking for new ways of stimulating the interest of his audience and of getting them to participate in the quest for understanding.”
Yang was born in Suzhou, China, in 1926 and came to the United States in 1948 to attend the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. While there, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1951, master’s degree in 1952 and completed his Ph.D. in 1955 under the supervision of Max Jakob, physicist and pioneer in the field of thermal heat transfer.
Soon after receiving his doctorate, he joined the Notre Dame faculty of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. He was promoted to professor in 1963, served as department chair from 1967 to 1978 and was appointed the Viola D. Hank Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in 1986.
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