Chancellor Henry T. Yang was recently honored with an award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for his achievements as a researcher and educator.

The association, of which Yang is a fellow, will present him with the Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Award April 9 at a conference in Schaumburg, Ill.

One of his students, Jeremy Johansen, who is working toward a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, said Yang encourages his charges to embark on unique and novel research subjects.

“It’s very exciting and inspiring to have worked closely with someone who is being recognized by the [AIAA],” Johansen said.

Yang said in an e-mail that he has mentored the campus mechanical engineering community since he became chancellor in 1994. He advises mechanical engineering doctoral candidates and also teaches an undergraduate course each year. Six of his students have even gone on to become astronauts. He also said he believes it is important to continue teaching.

“I have made it a priority to remain active in teaching and research,” Yang said. “I am also currently guiding five Ph.D. students – one of whom is legally blind.”

The AIAA, an association of engineers, scientists and other professionals involved in the aerospace industry, bestows the SDM award upon individuals who have made “an outstanding recent technical or scientific contribution in aerospace structures, structural dynamics or materials,” an AIAA press release said.

Yang, who is an AIAA fellow, is receiving the award for his research in “shell finite elements, transonic flutter, structural dynamics and computational materials processing,” as well as his continuing work in “aerospace structures, structural dynamics and materials,” according to the press release.

Yang will also receive recognition for projects in which he participated before becoming chancellor, he said, such as being the Neil A. Armstrong Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University.

These contributions include authoring or co-authoring 170 scientific journal articles – 43 since he became chancellor – serving as an investigator for 32 sponsored research grants, and receiving 13 outstanding undergraduate teaching awards.

His book, Finite Element Structural Analysis, published by Prentice-Hall, is used in over 45 universities, and is also printed in Japanese and Chinese.