Good friends are like stars . . . You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.




Our most hearty congratulations to Dr. Yang on his recent honor and endowment as the John and Genevieve McCain Chair in Engineering!


Dr. Vigor Yang, William R. T. Oakes Professor and Chair, received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1976 from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. After graduation, he worked briefly for Texas Instruments before continuing his studies at the California Institute of Technology. After receiving his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1984, he joined the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University as a faculty member and is presently Professor in that Department. He has published numerous journal papers and conference proceeding articles on various aspects of fluid mechanics, combustion, and acoustics. His research interests include combustion instabilities in propulsion systems, chemically reacting flows in air-breathing and rocket engines, combustion of energetic materials, high-pressure thermodynamics and transport, and active combustion control for gas-turbine engines.He has supervised 41 Ph.D. and 15 M.S. theses, and collaborated with 21 post-doctoral fellows and visiting professors.

Dr. Yang is the author or co-author of more than 250 technical papers in the areas of propulsion and combustion, and has published nine comprehensive volumes on rocket and air-breathing propulsion.  He has been the Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Propulsion and Power of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) since 2001.  He also serves on the editorial advisory boards of seven international journals, including Combustion & Flame, Progress in Energy & Combustion Science, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, Combustion, Explosion, and Shock Waves (Fizika Goreniya i Vzryva), Journal of Chinese Institute of Engineers, Journal of Aeronautics, Astronautics, and Aviation, and JANNAF Journal of Propulsion & Energetics.  Dr. Yang is the founder of the International Symposium on Liquid Space Propulsion.  He has also been a consultant to many government and industrial organizations (rocket and gas-turbine engine companies), including NASA, DoD, ESA, JAXA, GE, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, Aerojet, ATK-Thiokol, etc.  In addition, he serves on a variety of steering committees and review boards for government agencies and universities in US and abroad. He is principle investigator on several grants involving combustion from various government agencies such as NASA, AFOSR and ONR.

With respect to teaching he has received three teaching awards at Penn State, including the Outstanding Faculty in Mechanical Engineering Award (1995).  he has also received the Penn State Engineering Society Outstanding Teaching Award (1989), Outstanding Research Award (1992), and Premier Research Award (2005).  He is a recipient of the AIAA Best Paper Awards in Propellants and Combustion (1996) and Air-Breathing Propulsion (2004).  He also received the Air-Breathing Propulsion Award from AIAA in 2005 and is a Fellow of the AIAA and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.