OXFORD — An educator, hydroscience and engineering researcher and administrator whose work has brought international attention to the University of Mississippi for more than four decades has contributed $100,000 to create an endowment encouraging other university professionals in their work.
Sam S.Y. Wang — the founding director of UM’s National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, known as NCCHE — and his wife, Jine, have established a fund to provide awards recognizing outstanding contributions of deserving faculty, scientists, students and staff.
Through the program, an advisory council will select recipients from the NCCHE community. In odd years, the top faculty member will receive $3,000 and the student $500, and in even years, the chosen scientist will receive $2,500 and the support staff $1,000.
The Wangs said they hope to eventually build the new fund to a level that produces adequate annual income to support an endowed professorship that can be utilized to attract a prominent senior scientist to provide leadership and recognition for strengthening the center and bringing international recognition to the university.
Wang was one of UM’s first four Frederick A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professors in 1988, the highest faculty accolade on the Oxford campus. He was re-nominated and reselected for a second term in 1993, and was awarded the Barnard Distinguished Professor title for life in 1998. Wang was chosen for the inaugural Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award and Outstanding Engineering Faculty Awards as well as many other UM awards.
A pioneer in applying computational modeling methodology to hydroscience research, Wang has gained worldwide recognition. Among numerous accolades, he has received the Hans Albert Einstein Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Qian Ning Prize from the World Association for Sedimentation and Erosion Research, the two highest international honors presented to a researcher selected worldwide for his or her lifetime distinguished achievements in hydrodynamics, soil erosion and sediment transport research.
Among Wang’s publications are nine books, two invited chapters, more than 200 journal articles, proceeding papers and conference presentations. He holds a doctoral degree in computational hydrodynamics, a master’s degree in fluid mechanics from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. He came to Ole Miss in 1967 as an assistant professor due to the counsel of John A. Fox, then-chair of mechanical engineering. Although Wang retired from UM in 2010, he continues as a part-time research professor.
The Wangs are the parents of two: David Wang, a mechanical engineering graduate, works in the computer software field in California, and Susan Wang is pursuing a doctorate in engineering at UM.