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.
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 Wei–Wen Yu Cold–Formed 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.
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.