Mao Yisheng

Mao Yisheng

Dr. Mao Yisheng (Chinese: 茅以升; pinyin: Máo Yǐshēng; Wade–Giles: Mao2 Yi3-sheng1; January 9, 1896 - November 12, 1989) was a Chinese structural engineer, an expert on bridge construction, and a social activist in China.

Biography

Mao was born in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province. He entered Jiaotong University's Tangshan Engineering College (now Southwest Jiaotong University) and earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1916. He earned his Master's degree from Cornell University and earned the first Ph.D. ever granted by the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1919. His doctoral treatise entitled Secondary Stress on Frame Construction is treasured at the Hunt Library of Carnegie Mellon University.

Mao's long and productive career included designing two of the most famous modern bridges in China, the Qiantang River Bridge near Hangzhou, and the Yangtze River Bridge at Wuhan. He also led the structural design of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Returning to China, Mao was on the faculty of five major universities and served as president of four, such as the President and professor of Tangshan Engineering School of the Jiaotong University (now Southwest Jiaotong University), Director of Engineering Course of Southeast University, President of Engineering Course College of Beiyang University, Director of Project Office of Hangzhou Qiantangjian Bridge, and Director of Bridge Planning Project Office of Transportation Ministry of Kuomintang Administration. He significantly influenced Chinese engineering education by introducing new subject matter and innovative pedagogical approaches. In addition to his engineering expertise, he was a distinguished scholar of the history of science in China.

Mao served as a leader of the China Engineers Association, the Chinese Civil Engineering Society and the China Association of Science and Technology. He has also served as president of Southwest Jiaotong University(from Tangshan Engineering College to Northern Jiaotong University to Southwest Jiaotong University), director of Railway Institute under the Ministry of Railway, president of Railway Scientific Research Center, chairman of Beijing Science Association, honorary president and vice-president of the China Association for Science and Technology, vice-chairman of Jiu San Society, vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), member of CPPCC, and the standing committee member of National People's Congress.

Mao was a senior member of International Bridge and Structural Project Association, and won the honorary title of Foreign Academician issued by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

Mao was regarded as the founder of modern bridge engineering. The Qiantangjiang Bridge designed with his guidance is the first dual-purpose road-and-railway bridge designed and built by the Chinese themselves. He also participated in the construction of China's first modern bridge – Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge. During the construction of Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, Mao Yisheng served as chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee composed of more than 20 foreign and Chinese bridge experts, and solved 14 difficult problems relating to bridge construction.

He advocated popular science education, and wrote "On Bridge", "China's Arch Bridges" and many other popular science articles.

On April 18, 2006, Carnegie Mellon University set up a statue honoring its first doctoral graduate. The sculpture includes an inscription from China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao.

Family

Mao Yisheng's nephew is Mao Yushi, who is currently an economist in China. His family is also doing the legacy of going to Carnegie Mellon.


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