Ray Muggridge AMS Dedication

Faculty, staff, students, and several alumni came together November 9 to celebrate the re-dedication of the Daniel Guggenheim School's Aero Maker Space - henceforth called the Yang Aero Maker Space. 

The lab was named in honor of Vigor Yang, who served as chair of the AE School from 2009 to 2018, and his wife Dorothy. Yang is widely recognized as a driving force behind the lab, which opened in 2016. 

The Yang Aero Maker Space is one of a growing number of  learning spaces used by top-tier engineering schools to promote a more grounded understanding of materials, manufacturing, and prototyping in the engineering process. The AMS provides training and access to a variety of equipment, including 3D printers, wood cutting tools, laser printers, and other machines. 

"When I asked Vigor to consider funding one machine for this space, he said yes," said Mark Costello, the newly appointed William R. T. Oakes Chair of the AE School. "But then he said 'I want you to think bigger than one machine.' And that, quite literally, is what made this lab happen." 

The afternoon-long  event kicked off with a heartfelt tribute from Yang's longtime colleague and friend, Regents Professor Tim Lieuwen, and a hard-hitting technical lecture from AE alumnus Eric Gebhardt, BSAE '90.  There was also a student-led tour of the Yang Aero Maker Space, where some of the machines were briefly demonstrated and explained.

Lieuwen's presentation included several family photographs from Yang's childhood, where the future researcher developed an abiding passion for serious inquiry. 

"How can you tell which one is Vigor?" Lieuwen asked,  pointing to a photograph of Vigor's family. "Of course, he's always the one who's smiling." 

As a token of the School's gratitude, Lieuwen presented Yang with an engraved bronzed steel replica of the SpaceX Raptor engine. A Lucite etching of Yang is installed on the base.

The inscription on the plaque read: "In appreciation of your vision, passion, and courage. You have taken us to new heights. From your dear friends in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.

Gebhardt, now the vice president and chief technology officer at GE Power, presented a talk that was perfectly themed for a maker space celebration: "How Advanced Manufacturing is Transforming the Aerospace and Energy Industry." 

The endowment of the new lab, which is open to all students, staff, and faculty, was underwritten by another very dedicated alumnus, Ray T. Muggridge, III, AE '70.  

"You see before you the real shining stars - the students. The hard work and the energy that I've seen in this lab has touched my heart," said Muggridge. "It is my sincerest hope that I can help more students go forth to pursue their hopes and dreams with that same hard work and energy."