TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An internationally acclaimed expert in combustion and propulsion said Tuesday (March 30) that technological development will be a catalyst for growth and national security in light of Taiwan's graying population.
Dr. Vigor Yang (楊威迦), who retired from his professorship at Georgia Tech's Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering and returned to Taiwan to serve as an honorary academician at Academia Sinica, delivered an inspiring speech at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Tuesday at the invitation of NCKU President Huey-Jen Jenny Su (蘇慧貞). Yang earned an honorary doctorate degree from NCKU two years ago and was part of the school's initiative to address Taiwan's goal of a achieving self-reliant national defense.
Speaking to NCKU faculty and students, Yang pointed out that the development of engineering sciences is closely tied to humanity and can be traced back to ancient times when people made stone utensils and built houses with thatch. "Everything in the course of the history of world cultural development can be attributed to engineering sciences," he stated.
Engineering stems from human needs, Yang said. Engineering has shaped human history, and in turn, people have shaped engineering and technology, he added.
Yang believes that innovative engineering design processes, advanced manufacturing technology, cyberization, and organic management should be how Taiwan moves forward, boosting growth and national security through technological leapfrogging as the country faces the challenges of an aging society.
Famed for having solved engine combustion instability issues for NASA, Yang was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has also received the von Kármán Lectureship in Astronautics Award, the highest honor in propulsion studies.