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UA Systems and Industrial Engineering Professor Young-Jun Son is the 2012 da Vinci Fellow. (Photo: Pete Brown)

Systems Engineering Innovator Recognized as da Vinci Fellow for 2012

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Systems Engineering Innovator Recognized as da Vinci Fellow for 2012

Dec. 6, 2011
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Son inspires students, peers and colleagues as one of the most productive faculty members in the college of engineering.

An innovative and balanced research and education program has earned professor Young-Jun Son of UA systems and industrial engineering department the prestigious recognition as da Vinci fellow for 2012. Only one UA Engineering faculty member per year is selected for such acknowledgement.

Son continues to inspire students, peers and colleagues as one of the most productive faculty members in the college of engineering, said head of the systems and industrial engineering department Larry Head in his nomination of Son. "His research projects span a broad range of topics, from manufacturing systems, to systems design methodologies, to models of human decision making," Head said. "His education program is highly integrated with his research."

Professor Son is the director of the Advanced Integration of Manufacturing Systems and Technologies Center at the UA. He also has an active role in renewable energy research at the University of Arizona through the AzRISE institute, which has sponsored his multi-scale simulation research along with Arizona Public Service (APS).

Son's two core areas of instruction, simulation modeling and manufacturing, generate students highly sought by industry.

"This fellowship will greatly help students in my research group continue developing state-of-the-art computer simulation technologies that support various decisions involved in the design and operation of large-scale, dynamic systems," Son said. Systems supported by such research include manufacturing enterprise, distributed energy networks, homeland security, coal mining, transportation, and human-centric social systems.

Son's master's and PhD degrees are from Pennsylvania State University and he earned his bachelor's at Phohang University of Science and Technology in Pohang, Korea. He's been teaching at UA since August 2000.

"I am truly honored to receive this prestigious da Vinci fellowship," Son said. "And I thank all the da Vinci Circle members for this recognition and their long time support and friendship with the College of Engineering," he said.

The da Vinci fellowship is named for Leonardo da Vinci, one of the original demonstrators of excellence and innovation. Da Vinci fellows are selected for sustained contributions to teaching, research and service. A new fellow is named each year, and fellowships run for two years. Fellows receive $10,000 during the two-year span of the appointment.

The fellowship is supported by the UA College of Engineering da Vinci Circle, the giving society of the college that supports engineering scholarship and research in two critical ways: unrestricted gifts and focused contributions. Unrestricted gifts give the college flexibility to direct resources where most needed. Focused contributions allow members to direct their gifts to a specific department or educational program.

More information on joining the da Vinci Circle -- which includes benefits such as an annual dinner, tours and college-related special events -- can be found on the UA College of Engineering website at