Yi-Lung Mo Wins Prestigious John and Rebecca Moores Professorship
Each spring, the University of Houston recognizes the best and brightest faculty members, honoring them with teaching and research awards. This year four members of the Cullen College of Engineering community earned distinctions. Read more about them below:
Yi-Lung Mo, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering, won a prestigious 2019 John and Rebecca Moores Professorship.
The Moores Professorship is a University-level honor awarded annually to UH faculty members who have made outstanding contributions in research, teaching and service. Each Moores Professor receives a $10,000 annual stipend and the professorship is renewable every five years.
“I enjoy all my work – research, teaching and service on the international, national and local level,” Mo said. “But research is my heartbeat.”
Mo’s primary research interests are related to the study and design of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete, steel, periodic metamaterials, hybrid and composite structures subjected to various types of hazards – both natural (such as earthquakes and flooding) and manmade (such as explosions).
He has developed periodic metamaterials and smart sensors for vibration control and damage detection in engineering structures (from buildings to bridges and more) and created innovative seismic resistant structural designs using new materials – such as pre-stressed concrete box bridges with corrugated steel webs. Mo has also worked on analytical models for seismic hazard mitigation primarily using the Universal Element Tester, designed and built by his mentor and colleague Dr. Tom Hsu – it is the only machine of its kind in the country and one of two in the world. It can test the tension, compression, bending, shear and torsion of wall panels. He owns nine patents.
Mo earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the National Cheng Kung University and his master’s in structural engineering from the National Taiwan University. He earned a second master’s degree in computer science from DePaul University and his doctoral degree in structural engineering from the University of Hannover in Germany. He served as a postdoctoral research associate at UH from 1982 to 1984. He joined UH in 2000 as a professor.
Mo said the University – a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university – was conducive to his research and teaching.
“I’m very proud of being a faculty at UH,” he said. “Our facilities are outstanding and our faculty are united and very supportive of each other.”
He also appreciates the diversity on campus.
“My students come from all over the world, from many different countries,” Mo said. “I like to talk to my students and brainstorm with them. Everyone thinks in different ways and it helps broaden my mind and ideas.”
Other Cullen College faculty honored by various University awards are:
Daniel Burleson, instructional assistant professor at Cullen College, won a Teaching Excellence Award in the Instructor/Clinical category. This award honors outstanding teaching effort.
Aaron Becker, professor of electrical and computer engineering, won an Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award. This award recognizes faculty – with at least five years mentorship involvement – making a significant impact in their field by supporting and mentoring undergraduate students in research and scholarship. Becker, a robotics expert, is known for his work with millirobots – millimeter-sized robots – and drones.
All three professors will be honored at the Faculty Excellence Award Dinner at the Hilton University of Houston on April 18.
In addition to the professors, a Cullen College student was also an awardee. Jinwei Jiang, who is pursuing his doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, won a Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. This award is presented to graduate students for outstanding teaching efforts.