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Industrial engineering alumnus David Yao has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (Photo: Eileen Barroso).
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David Yao (MASc 8T1, PhD 8T3), MIE alumnus and professor of industrial engineering at Columbia University, has been elected as Member to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Members—including U of T Engineering Dean Cristina Amon—rank among the world’s most accomplished engineers.

NAE membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. That includes significant contributions to the engineering literature, to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, and to making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Yao was cited for his research of stochastic systems and their applications in engineering and service operations. “I am deeply grateful for the kindness and generosity of many colleagues at Columbia and elsewhere in helping me throughout my career,” said Yao, in an announcement made by Columbia University. As a PhD student at U of T’s Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE), Yao was supervised by Professor John Buzacott (MIE).

“On behalf of the MIE community, I would like to congratulate David Yao on this prestigious honour,” said Jean Zu, chair of MIE. “His election to NAE brilliantly demonstrates the high-calibre of engineers we graduate from our department. Yao is among many outstanding alumni making important contributions to engineering through leading-edge research.”

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