S&T professor emeritus celebrates 100th birthday

Posted by
On July 10, 2023


Dr. Wei-Wen Yu, right, recently celebrated his 100th birthday. He is pictured here with one of his longtime colleagues at Missouri S&T, Dr. Delbert Day.

Dr. Wei-Wen Yu, Curators’ Distinguished Professor emeritus of civil engineering at Missouri S&T, was a history-making member of the S&T faculty during his decades-long career, and now he can celebrate another historical feat — turning 100 years old.

Dr. Wei-Wen Yu, center, has been affiliated with Missouri S&T since 1968. He is pictured here at an S&T event with his daughter, Dorothy, left, and Dr. Joel Burken, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and chair of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at S&T. Photo courtesy of Joel Burken.

Yu was born on July 10, 1923, in Shandong, China. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from National Taiwan University in 1950, a master’s degree in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1955, and a Ph.D. in structural engineering from Cornell University in 1960.

After completing his Ph.D., he worked as a research engineer for the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) in New York City from 1960-1967 and credited this position for forming the foundation for his interest in cold-formed steel. He also taught for the City College of New York in 1964.

From August 1967 to August 1968, he worked as a staff engineer for TRW Systems in Redondo Beach, California, and then joined the Missouri S&T faculty as an associate professor of civil engineering.

During his tenure at S&T, he published the seminal textbook on cold-formed steel design, five other books, and over 100 articles and technical reports related to cold-formed steel. He was considered one of the world’s top scholars for steel science and engineering and was S&T’s first engineering faculty member awarded the title of Curators’ Distinguished Professor.

His textbook, Cold-Formed Steel Design, has long been a go-to reference for engineers in this discipline, and it is currently in its fifth edition. This textbook is now co-authored by Dr. Roger LaBoube, who is a Curators Teaching Professor emeritus of civil engineering at S&T, and Dr. Helen Chen, manager of construction standards development for the AISI.

LaBoube was also one of the 17 Ph.D. students Yu had graduate under his guidance.

In 1990, Yu formed S&T’s Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures, which was renamed the Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures in 2000 in his honor. In 2020, the center closed after more than 30 years, and the university now hosts the WeiWen Yu ColdFormed Steel Online Library.

LaBoube, who oversaw the center after its name change, says he has been honored to work with Yu as a student and as a colleague, and he is proud of the work that was accomplished through the center.

“This center was unique in that it had a technology transfer function and a key role for 30 years to serve the cold-formed steel industry,” LaBoube says. “It provided a comprehensive information resource for manufacturers, designers, educators, researchers, students and users.”

Yu also established the Wei‐Wen Yu Graduate Fellowship at S&T to support graduate education and travel to the Wei-Wen Yu International Specialty Conference on Cold-Formed Steel Structures, which is named in his honor.   

For more information about S&T’s civil, architectural and environmental engineering programs, visit care.mst.edu.

About Missouri S&T

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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8 thoughts on “S&T professor emeritus celebrates 100th birthday”

  • Robert Holmes says:

    Not only was Dr Yu an outstanding faculty member, but kind and humble. You will seldom meet a nicer human being.

  • Bob Stevens says:

    Dr. Yu was the proctor in the Civil Engineering auditorium for the in person EIT exam my senior year, May 1980. At lunchtime, the one and only transformer for campus blew, leaving us with no lights. Dr. Yu opened the doors at the top and bottom of the auditorium. Just a little light.

    Sorry. No relief. Good luck.

    I passed.

  • Nihat Taner says:

    Dr. Yu was my teacher during 1973 Fall semester when I was working on my MSCE degree. He taught CE 421 – Plastic Analysis and Design of Metal Structures. One of my classmates was Roger LaBoube. Dr. Yu was an excellent teacher and had a warm personality. Sincere greetings and congratulations.

    Mehmet Nihat Taner
    MSCE 1973
    Mersin, Turkey

  • Stuart Baur says:

    Congratulations Dr. Yu!

  • Larry W.Blankenship says:

    Congrats Dr. Wu from Larry Blankenship, CE class of 1974. You were my Steels instructor in 1968- glad to see you’re still kicking & looking well. I retired in 2012 & reside in Virginia.

  • Chris says:

    Happy birthday, Dr. Yu!

  • Jon Richards says:

    Great article to see on Dr Wei Wen Yu’s centennial birthday… I took Steel Design with him at UMR in 1980 and it was a great experience. Thanks for including, it reminded me of those distant years.

  • Laura Richardson says:

    I had the honor of working for Dr. Yu from 1997 to 2000 and am delighted to hear of his reaching is 100th Birthday.