Texas Tech University

Engineering Professor Named Fellow by the Society of Automotive Engineers

George Watson

October 7, 2016

James Yang will be awarded his fellowship at an awards ceremony in April.

James Yang
James Yang

James Yang, an associate professor, associate chairman and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University, has been named a Fellow by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.

The SAE is a global association of more than 138,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle industries that promotes learning and voluntary consensus development of standards.

"Being named an SAE fellow is a gratifying validation of my research, teaching, service, and practice efforts and I am grateful, and more than ever committed to serve SAE and the engineering profession," Yang said.

An SAE Fellow is the highest grade of membership in the society, recognizing long-term members who have made a significant impact on society's mobility technology through research, innovation and creative leadership.

Yang has performed pioneering research in physics-based digital human modeling and has made outstanding contributions to digital human modeling and applications in the area of vehicle ergonomics, or the study of human efficiency in their working environment.

Established in 1975, the grade of Fellow is administered by the SAE Fellows Committee and is awarded to approximately 20 recipients each year. Yang will be honored at the annual SAE Fellows reception and dinner and the SAE 2017 Awards Ceremony in Detroit, Michigan in April as part of the SAE 2017 World Congress Experience (WCX17).

"I truly appreciate the opportunity to work with such outstanding and talented students and colleagues at Texas Tech, as well as leading experts in academic, regulatory and industry communities." Yang said.

Yang earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Automotive Engineering from Jilin University in China in 1989 and 1992, respectively. He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa in 2003. His research interests include biomechanics and bio-inspired systems, robotics and multibody dynamic systems, human modeling and situation, human locomotion, slips and falls, spine biomechanics, human-centric design and healthcare engineering. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 peer reviewed publications.

Before he joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2008 as an assistant professor in the Whitacre College of Engineering Yang was a senior researcher at the Center for Computer-Aided Design, The University of Iowa from 2003 to 2008. He was a faculty member in the Department of Automotive Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China from 1992 to 1998.

Yang serves as Executive Editor, then Associate Editor for International Journal of Human Factors Modelling and Simulation (IJHFMS), Associate Editor for International Journal of Robotics and Automation (IJRA), and Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing and Service Industries. Editorial Advisory Board Member for International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, and the Open Ergonomics Journal, and Guest Editor for Special Issues of International Journal of Vehicle Design (IJVD) and International Journal of Vehicle Autonomous Systems (IJVAS).

This is not the first honor Yang has received from the SAE. In 2012, he was honored with the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award. He has also earned numerous awards while on faculty at Texas Tech, including the 2012 Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award, the 2011 Whitacre Excellence in Research Award, the 2011 TTU Alumni Association New Faculty Award, and the 2012 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Center for Undergraduate Research.

"This award is well deserved," Whitacre College of Engineering Dean Al Sacco Jr. said. "Professor Yang is an outstanding educator and inspirational role model for our students and for other faculty, old and young alike. His research impacts everyone as he investigates how to design and build autonomous devices based on biologically inspired systems to help all of us at work and at home. I could not be more pleased for him, and proud that professor Yang is a faculty member in the Whitacre College of Engineering."

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