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June 6: Carnegie Mellon's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Receives Graduate Fellowship Honoring China's Mao Yisheng

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Carnegie Mellon's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
Receives Graduate Fellowship Honoring China's Mao Yisheng


PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has received a $50,000 graduate fellowship from the Mao Yisheng Scientific and Technical Education Fund to honor the memory and technical excellence of China's pioneering bridge builder, Mao Yisheng.    

Mao YishengMao, who came to Pittsburgh to study steelmaking and bridge building, earned Carnegie Mellon's first Ph.D. in 1919. The establishment of this fellowship was celebrated during a reception June 6, which was attended by Mao's daughter, Madame Mao Yulin.                

"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.

Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering has a long tradition of deploying innovation in multicultural and multilingual environments, and attracting the best and brightest to its 144-acre campus. Mao, one of its original bright, young academic stars, was the chief engineer for construction of the first Yangtze River Bridge in Wuhan, and the structural design of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. A campus statue, located in an exterior alcove beside Porter and Baker halls, was dedicated to his memory in April 2006.    

Mao's daughter and a delegation of 90 Chinese officials have been visiting Pittsburgh's 24th Annual International Bridge Conference, in which China is the featured country. "We just thought this was a great time to announce the graduate fellowship, which will provide funding to graduate students from China or of Chinese descent who want to study civil and environmental engineering," Garrett said.        

Earlier this year, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department established the Mao Yisheng Outstanding Dissertation Award to honor the engineer's innovative career.

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(Pictured is Mao Yisheng in his student days. In 1919, he became the first student to earn a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon.)