College of Engineering and Technology
Engineering and Technology
Dr. Yang obtained B.S. in Applied Physics in 1992 with GuangHua Scholarship and M. A. in Laser Optics in 1995, both from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Anhui, P. R. China. From 1995 to 1999, Dr. Yang was a Ph.D. candidate and Teaching Assistant at Electrical Engineering Department, Princeton University. After his Ph.D. degree from Princeton University in 1999, Dr. Yang joined Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies Inc., as a Member of Technical Staff for more than seven years, doing research in photonic networks and devices. His research at Bell Labs included advanced optical channel monitoring for OTN, monolithic active-passive integrated III-V photonic integrated circuits, and high-speed, low jitter, multi-spatial-mode passive mode-locked semiconductor lasers. Before joining Western in Fall 2007, he was with Lightwave Systems, Ciena Corp., as a Principal Engineer, leading the research in fiber polarization mode dispersion (PMD) related long-haul system issues. His current research interest focuses on metamaterials and surface plasmonics and their applications to RF, photonic, and optoelectronic devices. Dr. Yang has published 32 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 50 peer-reviewed regional, national, and international conference papers. He also holds 9 U. S. patents awarded or pending. Dr. Yang is also an innovative Engineering educator, incorporating different modalities of teaching including the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) and he is instrumental in designing and establishing the Project Based Learning (PBL) core curricula at the School of Engineering and Technology, Western Carolina University. He is also a First-Lego-League (FLL) and Science Olympiad coach.
Our students benefit from a wide variety of stimulus to learn efficiently. The traditional practice of teaching in the form of lecturing can be less effective as the whole classroom with diversity of students, not only in their preferred ways of learning but also in their different levels of academic capabilities. Dr. Yang’s teaching interest focuses on how integration of different teaching modalities can contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the classroom teaching. Through practice, Dr. Yang has found that the group-activity and discussion based pedagogues, when conducted properly, can have positive impacts to students at all levels.
Dr. Yang’s research leverages his keen sensitivity to the connections, or sometimes disconnect, between the abstract theories and the concrete experimental observations. A long-time laser and optical communications expert, Dr. Yang has expanded his research interests into the fundamentals of metamaterials and surface plasmonics at Western Carolina University. He is a frequent recipient of federal research funding both from NSF’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Metamaterials as well as DoD’s SBIR/STTR programs. He is currently researching a fundamental aspect of surface plasmonics that can potentially lead to new optical sensing and energy harvesting applications.