UCLA Engineering Receives Gift to establish New Endowed Faculty Term Chair in Electrical Engineering

By Matthew Chin and Wileen Wong Kromhout

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $500,000 gift from Drs. Jane J, PhD ’71 and Tien T. Yang, PhD ’68, to establish a new endowed faculty term chair in electrical engineering.

The holder of the Yang chair will have research interests in electrical engineering, with a specialized focus in photonic technologies.

“Endowed term chairs strengthen the world-class research and teaching activities at UCLA Engineering by supporting junior faculty with great promise in advanced fields, such as photonics,” said Vijay K. Dhir, dean of the school. “We are extremely grateful that Jane and TT have chosen to support this goal with their generous gift.”

As UCLA Engineering graduate students, both Drs. Yang worked on several advanced topics. Tien T. Yang PhD ’68, or TT as he is better known, received his doctorate in research that included thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and applied mathematics. Jane Yang PhD ’71, received her doctorate in research that included solid state physics, electromagnetic theory and materials science. Both Drs. Yang worked in industry and on emerging technologies. In particular, both worked on high energy and high powered laser research and development for many years.

“Our experience at UCLA provided us with a foundation in our disciplines and experiences that helped shape our lives. In showing our gratefulness and hope that future students receive the benefits we did during our time at UCLA, we’ve decided to contribute and invest in the future of UCLA’s School of Engineering,” said TT Yang.

“Our hope is that these actions will help inspire larger charitable contributions and ultimately allow UCLA to become one of the leading photonic research centers,” added Jane Yang.

This endowed term chair is part of UCLA Engineering’s Enhancing Engineering Excellence (E3) initiative, a $100 million fundraising effort aimed at generating new endowed faculty chairs, graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, as well as funds for capital projects and diversity initiatives. It is also part of UCLA’s Ensuring Academic Excellence initiative, a five-year effort aimed at generating $250 million in private commitments, specifically for the recruitment and retention of the very best faculty and graduate students. The initiative was launched in June 2004 and its goals include $100 million to fund 100 new endowed chairs for faculty across campus.