Nai-Chien Huang

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Nai-Chien Huang, professor emeritus of aerospace and mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, died Sunday (Jan. 15) at his home in Los Altos, Calif., after a long illness. He was 79 years old.

A native of Nantong, China, Huang studied engineering at National Taiwan University in Tapei and was graduated in 1953. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Brown University and Harvard in 1958 and 1963, respectively. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 1983, 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.

“N.C. was simply a wonderful man who epitomized that expression ‘a gentleman and a scholar,’” according to his colleague and friend Joseph Powers, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering. “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.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday (Jan. 28) at 10 a.m. in Spangler Mortuaries (399 South San Antonio Rd.) in Los Altos, Calif.

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on January 18, 2012.