The University of Macau (UM) yesterday (12 November) held a Doctor honoris causa Lecture titled ‘Cultivating Talent at a World-Class Research University UC Santa Barbara: A Modest Example’. The keynote speaker, Professor Henry T. Yang, is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from UM, a world-renowned expert in structural engineering, and the current chancellor of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). During the talk, Yang discussed how world-class higher education institutions and research institutes discover talented people and nurture outstanding professionals. The event attracted many UM faculty members and students.
Professor Yang is one of the great educationists in higher education of the United States. He is regarded as being in the same league as Charles Eliot, the president of Harvard University from 1869 to 1909 who famously turned it into a top university as we know it today. During the talk, Professor Yang discussed the roles of higher education institutions and research institutes in nurturing talented people and shared the keys to his success at UCSB. Under his leadership as the chancellor of UCSB, six faculty members won the Nobel Prize. Professor Yang believes that if one works hard, he will eventually be rewarded. In addition, he pointed out that as a research-focused comprehensive university, UM has the potential to produce outstanding professionals and researchers. He suggested that UM should learn from UCSB in order to increase its teaching quality, research capacity, and student quality.
An expert in aerospace engineering, Professor Yang has been serving as the chancellor of UCSB since 1994. He is also a member of the National Academic of Engineering, a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the former dean of Purdue University’s College of Engineering. He has made significant contributions to the analysis of finite elements and earthquake structural engineering, which have had far-reaching impact in the fields. Professor Yang has also received many awards in recognition of his contributions to education and social services.