Carnegie Mellon University

G. Wang

March 29, 2019

Wang Joins CEE Faculty

Joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University not only gives Gerald “Jerry” Wang the opportunity to inspire students and further his research into the movement of atoms, it will allow him to be part of a school he says reflects his values.

“I think it is one of the best places to do science and engineering,” Wang says, adding that
while many universities speak to fostering a collaborative environment, CMU delivers. “It’s not just part of the culture. It is the culture.”

Wang earned a joint bachelor’s degree from Yale - in Mechanical Engineering, and in Mathematics and Physics. He earned his master’s of science in Mechanical Engineering and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Computation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He will join the CMU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in Fall 2019.

Wang brings an interdisciplinary background to the study of civil and environmental engineering utilizing a foundation in physics to achieve a computational understanding of the small-scale movement of atoms. As applied to civil and environmental engineering, Wang says his goal is to use advanced computerized study of nanoscale transport to solve real world problems. He described his work as understanding and developing a travel log of the movement of atoms, much like tracking the movement of millions of people traveling every day.

“Jerry Wang brings a broad range of expertise in mechanics and computing, and great enthusiasm to our educational and research mission,” says CEE Department Head Dave Dzombak. “Jerry is already engaged with our community and we are very much looking forward to having him with us full time.”

His field of research, for example, could be used to determine how to remove heat more quickly from insulation materials, or how to effectively develop opportunities for clean water or clean energy technologies.

“I really want to bring nanoscale computational techniques to civil and environmental engineering,” he says. “These are already rock-solid, strong communities (at CMU). I want to be one more voice in that.”

In addition to research and teaching opportunities, Wang says, the culture at CMU was a significant part of his decision to join the faculty. The character of the university was made clear when, as part of the interview process, he was asked “How do you plan to participate in diversity and inclusion?”

Wang, who grew up in a diverse environment, with classmates and friends from diverse backgrounds, says that question touched him. It signaled to him the commitment that CMU has to a diverse student and staff population was more than words on paper: That the expectations for a well-rounded campus community were great, and when combined with the expectations for academic and research excellence, joining CMU would give Wang the opportunity to make a genuine difference in the world.

Wang says joining CMU offers one additional bonus: Living in Pittsburgh. With family living in the city, the promise of seeing his hometown Chicago Cubs playing at PNC Park, and a familiar vibe, Wang says he is excited to settle into his new home.

“The city is fantastic. I absolutely love it,” Wang says. “The people are down-to-earth. I am very much looking forward to living there.”