Distinguished Women in Aerospace

Date: Monday, February 14, 2011 1:00 PM
Location: 101 Guggenheim Lab, Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall
Speaker: Ying-Chu Lin (Y. C. L. Susan) Wu, Chairman, ERC & Professor, Emeritus, UTSI

The lecture series Distinguished Women in Aerospace celebrates the contributions and accomplishments of pioneers and leaders in academia, government and industry to the field of Aerospace Engineering and Sciences.


View the Distinguished Women in Aerospace lecture featuring Ying-Chu Lin (Y. C. L. Susan) Wu


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Facing Challenges

Challenges come in different sizes, shapes, types and sources. Some challenges are initiated by us, like being a student at Caltech. This is the price we must pay to realize our dreams. Others like natural disasters where individuals play no direct roles. There is the rest challenges lie in between.

Hard work, determination, perseverance and luck are essential to overcome the challenges we face in life. However, these are not enough. Often we need to change our own altitude, looking at it from a different angle, put ourselves into the other's position, find an alternate path and know where and when the trigger point is to change course. But above all, it is our response; action and reaction that determine the outcomes.

Susan will share her life stories of how she overcome so many challenges she faced; from being an engineering student in the early 50's to discover a congenital heart defect while studying for her PhD at Caltech. Her heart illness has been a life long struggle which she continues to fight and winning!

Y. C. L. Susan Wu, Chairman

ERC & Professor, Emeritus, UTSI

Ying-Chu Lin (Y. C. L. Susan) Wu

Ying-Chu Lin (Y. C. L. Susan) Wu received her PhD in Aeronautics from the California Institute of Technology in 1963. After two years working in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion in Pasadena, she joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee Space Institute (UTSI). Her research area was in MHD Power Generation over her entire career at UTSI. She had many publications on this subject. In 1982 she became the head of the Energy Conversion Programs where the large multi-million dollar MHD program was conducted. She took early retirement from UTSI in 1988 and founded ERC, Inc., an engineering and scientific company headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama.

She served as a member of the NASA Aerospace Technology Committee, Advisory Board of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Visiting Committee member of the Argonne National Laboratory and U.S. member of the US-USSR MHD Conversion Cooperate Program. She was also active in many technical societies.

She received many awards and honors including the Faraday Medal for MHD Power Generation, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Plasma Dynamics and Laser Award, the Achievement Award — the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), among others.

She was a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), associate fellow of AIAA, and Life member of SWE.

Relevant Links

Department of Aerospace (GALCIT)