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Professor emeritus dies at 79

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nai-Chien Huang, professor emeritus of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, died Sunday at his home in Los Altos, Calif., after a long illness. He was 79 years old.

Huang joined Notre Dame’s faculty in 1983, according to a University press release. Prior to joining Notre Dame’s staff, he served on the faculties of the University of California at San Diego, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin. He retired in 2001.

A native of Nantong, China, Huang studied engineering at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, graduating in 1953. He earned his master’s degree from Brown University in 1958 and his doctoral degree from Harvard in 1963.

In a written tribute, Joseph Powers, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, said his colleague epitomized the term of “a gentleman and a scholar.”

“He was a great teacher, always impeccable in his presentation and with a conspicuous reverence for knowledge. He loved Notre Dame, its students and faculty, and he was a great role model … including for me.”

Huang is survived by his wife of 49 years, Geraldine, and their two children, Sheila and Nathan.