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Elected in 1985

“For fundamental contributions to aerodynamics and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics.”


SHAN-FU SHEN, professor emeritus of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University, passed away after a short illness in Ithaca, New York, on December 22, 2006. He was 85 years old.

Born in Shanghai, China, in 1921, Professor Shen received the bachelor of science degree in 1941 from the National Central University in Chunking. After achieving the rare distinction of placing first in the two most presitigious nationwide scholarship competitions for pursuing graduate studies abroad, he elected to come to the U.S., where he completed, brilliantly, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), his Sc.D. in 1949. His thesis advisors were C.C. Lin and H.S. Tsien.

Following two years as a research associate at MIT, Dr. Shen joined the faculty of the Aeronautical Engineering Department of the University of Maryland, where he soon became a full professor. In 1961, after 11 years at Maryland, he was convinced by W.R. Sears to become a professor in what was then the Graduate School of Aeronautical Engineering at Cornell University, where he remained for the rest of his professional career. A distinguished scholar in aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer, Shan-Fu Shen taught and advised Cornell undergraduates and graduate students, conducted his own research, and guided others until his retirement in 1991 as the John Edson Sweet Professor Emeritus.

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