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Theodore Yao-Tsu Wu  
2006 CTUAA-SC Lifetime Achievement Award

B.S. 1946, Chaio-Tung University;
M.S. 1948, Iowa State University;
Ph.D. 1952, Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science (1996-), California Institute of Technology.

John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (1964); Australian CSIRO and Universities Fellow (1976); Japan JSPS Fellow (1981); Member, U.S. Academy of Engineering (1982); Member, Academia Sinica (1984); Honorary Fellow, Institute of Mechanics (1988), and Foreign Member, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2002); American Physical Society Fellow and Am. Phys. Soc. 1993 Fluid Mechanics Prize.

With his basic training in aeronautics, mathematics, and fluid physics, Dr. Wu has taught at Caltech since his graduation and pursued research in engineering science, a newly evolving field that forges frontiers abridging engineering with different branches of science. Enjoying teaching, he has been called upon to teach undergraduate core courses and advanced graduate core courses, for which endeavor he was accorded a Caltech Distinguished Teaching Award. He is in full conviction that all students can be inspired, with due stimuli, to learn how to learn best by themselves.

In his career, Dr. Wu has shown a broad and versatile interest in research, including flows of compressible, viscous and heat-conducting fluids; free-streamline theory of cavities, jets and wakes; water waves and free-surface flows, mechanics of fish swimming and bird/insect flight; wind and ocean-current energy, internal waves in the ocean, mathematics of nonlinear evolution equatons, etc. With students and visiting colleagues, they collaborated on studies of low-Reynolds-number hydrodynamics, microorganism locomotion and related biophysical phenomena. The recent research interest of Wu's group is focused on forced generation of nonlinear waves at resonance of soliton-bearing systems, three-dimensional vortex dynamics, and coastal oceanography. His new theoretical model for fully nonlinear dispersive waves in water of variable depth is ideal for investigating mitigation and control of such natural hazards as tsunami, storm surge, and hurricanes. The new idea and concept, based on devising means for active and passive control and mitigation of devastating waves and fluid flows, may germinate growth of a new field. Revisiting bio-physics, he has developed a fully nonlinear lifting theory for modeling bird flying and fish swimming. In collection, Dr. Wu has authored and co-authored over 150 papers published in archive journals and book chapters. His lifetime contributions have been recognized by winning the Lifetime Achievement Awards of the 1993 Chinese-American Faculty Assoc. of So. Calif., 1995 Chinese Engineers and Scientists Association of So. Calif., and of the 2000 No. American Chiao Tung U. Alumni Assoc.

Professionally, Dr. Wu pursues, with conviction, the goal of enhancing academic interaction between individuals, groups, societies and nations. This is the best road, he believes, to promote science, disseminate knowledge and share wisdom. He is always sincere in responding to discussions and to giving plenum lectures at scientific meetings. He has made the U.S. Southwest Universities Lecture Tour (1968), Chinese Academy of Science Summer Lectures (1981), UC Berkeley Russell Springer Honorary Professor Lectures (1981), Herbert Wagner Memorial Lecture in Munich (1984), U.S. Midwest Universities Lecture Tour (1985), Distinguished Willian Mong Lecture in Hong Kong (1997), Distinguished Israel Pollack Lecture in Haifa (1999) and other invited lectures. He has accepted appointments as Honorary Professor in several universities abroad. He is a co-editor of the serial of Advances in Applied Mechanics that was founded by Theodore von Karman and Richard von Mises; he has edited scores of books and Proceeding Volumes of international conferences he organized. In teaching, he has guided a good number of students to doctorate, an endeavor he has conducted with dedication, great expectation, and pride.

Dr. Wu, married to Dr. Chinhua Shih Wu, have two grown children: Fonda Bai-yueh and Melba Bai-chin and two grandchildren.




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This site was last updated 08/04/02