Prof. Yao Named Fulbright Scholar

Professor Y. Lawrence Yao has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to collaborate on research in Spain on laser materials processing.
Yao (at right), professor and former chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, will work with colleagues during the coming fall semester at the Universidad de Vigo, located in the north of Spain along the Atlantic coast, and in Germany.
In a congratulatory email to Yao, Columbia Engineering Dean Feniosky Pena-Mora wrote “I am delighted to hear that you have been awarded a Fullbright and I congratulate you on this achievement! I am convinced that you and your colleagues from Spain and Germany are going to do some exciting research during your sabbatical.”
“I am honored and humbled by receiving this award,” Yao says. “I am grateful to the Fulbright Commission for selecting me. I am also grateful to my colleagues in the mechanical engineering department,  and Columbia Engineering for their support and collaboration over the years.”  
Yao says he is excited to spend time in Europe, where research in laser materials processing is very active. 
“This will help spur new ideas as our research is headed towards using innovative laser technologies to help address manufacturing challenges in innovative medical devices and renewable energy systems.”
Yao is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2011-2012. Yao’s award is of the Fulbright Scholar (Senior Researcher) category. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics.
Yao’s nomination package with Fulbright lauds his accomplishments since his arrival in 1994 at Columbia Engineering.
“Prof. Yao is internationally well known for his scientific work and scholarly contributions in the area of laser materials processing. His early work in laser micromachining was very unique. 
“The numerical models established by his group consider details such as Knudson layer at the liquid/gas interface leading to more precise prediction capability of features generated by laser ablative micromachining. His work on laser forming and micro scale laser shock peening (LSP) throughout the 2000s has made many contributions in almost every aspect of these processes. They considered the anisotropy associate with the micro scale LSP experimentally, theoretically and numerically and produced some of the most beautiful results. 
“He and his coworkers published a few dozen widely referenced technical papers on the topic. The fact he and his doctoral students received a number of Best Paper Awards at leading international conferences speaks volume of the very high regard he receives from his peers and from the manufacturing research community throughout the world.”
Yao served as the departmental chair of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia from 2005-2011.

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