Vigor Yang

Regents Professor
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Vigor Yang earned his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1984. After serving for one year as a research fellow in Jet Propulsion at Caltech, he joined the Pennsylvania State University in August 1985, becoming the John L. and Genevieve H. McCain Chair in Engineering in 2006. In 2009, he began his tenure as the William R.T. Oakes Professor Chair at the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Tech. He retired from the chair position and returned to teaching and research in August of 2018

Yang’s research encompasses a wide spectrum of topics, including (1) data-enabled design and data science; (2) combustion dynamics in propulsion and power-generation systems;(3) multi-fidelity modeling and simulations of fluid flows and combustion; (4) combustion of energetic materials; (5) high-pressure transport phenomena, thermodynamics and combustion, and (6) nano technologies for propulsion and energetic applications. He has established, as the principal or co-principal investigator, more than 70 research projects, including nine (9) DoD-MURI projects. He has published 10 comprehensive volumes and numerous technical papers on combustion, propulsion, energetics, and data science. He was the recipient of  the Air-Breathing Propulsion Award (2005), the Pendray Aerospace Literature Award (2008), the Propellants and Combustion Award (2009), and the von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics Award (2016) from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); the Worcester Reed Warner Medal (2014) from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2014) from the Joint Army, Navy, NASA, and Air Force (JANNAF) Interagency Propulsion Committee.

Yang was the editor-in-chief of the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power (2001-2009) and the JANNAF Journal of Propulsion and Energetics (2009-2012). He is currently a co-editor of the Aerospace Book Series of the Cambridge University Press (2010-).  He serves, or has served, on a large number of steering committees and review/advisory boards for government agencies and universities in the U.S. and abroad. A member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and an academician of Academia Sinica, Dr. Yang is a fellow of the AIAA, ASME, and Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).



  • Ben T. Zinn Combustion Laboratory

  • Strategic Energy Institute (SEI)

  • School of Industrial and Systems Engineering


  • Propulsion & Combustion

  • Aerodynamics & Fluid Mechanics

AE Multidisciplinary Research Areas:

  • Large-Scale Computations, Data, and Analytics

  • B.S., Power Mechanical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University;
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University;
  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, California Institute of Technology.
Distinctions & Awards

Member, U.S. National Academy of Engineering; Academician, Academia Sinica; Outstanding Teaching Award (1989), Premier Research Award (2005), Penn State Engineering Society (1989); Best Paper Awards, AIAA (Propellants and Combustion, 1996; Air-Breathing Propulsion, 2004, 2007); Air-Breathing Propulsion Award, AIAA (2005); Pendray Aerospace Literature Award, AIAA (2008); Propellants and Combustion Award, AIAA (2009); William R. Marshall Award, Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems (2013); Worcester Reed Warner Medal, ASME (2014); Lifetime Achievement Award, JANNAF Interagency Propulsion Committee (2014); von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics Award, AIAA (2016).