China's Mao Yisheng was a pioneer in bridge building who revolutionized the engineering field — and he was Carnegie Mellon's first Ph.D. graduate. This month, a $50,000 fellowship for Carnegie Mellon's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering was established in his memory.
"This fellowship is a wonderful way to assist future generations of engineering innovators to study at Carnegie Mellon and to contribute to its tradition of engineering excellence," said James H. Garrett Jr., head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Garrett added, "[The] fellowship will provide funding to graduate students from China or of Chinese descent who want to study civil and environmental engineering."
A statue on Carnegie Mellon's Pittsburgh campus serves as a reminder of Mao's accomplishments. He was chief engineer for construction of the first Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan and for the structural design of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The work Mao pioneered is still being recognized today. China was the featured country this year at Pittsburgh's 24th Annual International Bridge Conference, which Mao's daughter, Madame Mao Yulin, and a delegation of 90 Chinese officials attended.
A reception celebrating the establishment of the fellowship was held at the Pittsburgh campus in early June and attended by Mao's daughter.