Professor Kai Yang Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Kai Yang, professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Wayne State University (WSU), has been named recipient of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Automotive Division’s Cecil C. Craig Lifetime Achievement Award.

Yang received the award in recognition of his writings and academic contributions to the field of automotive quality and reliability, including eight books in four different languages. One of his books has inspired the ASQ to begin working on a new certification for professionals in quality and reliability.

Yang’s research focuses on using manufacturing data to troubleshoot automotive manufacturing issues. Through the years, he has secured millions of dollars in grant funding from the Big Three and the National Science Foundation. He and his team worked with Chrysler to create software used in its plants around the world to build and maintain quality of car bodies.

“I have been working on this for many years and I’m glad. I’ve done a lot through teaching, research and work in a very important industry. Persistence, hard work and never giving up are very important,” said Yang.

The Craig Award is presented annually to the best technical/management papers relating to quality and reliability written by the Automotive Division members. Yang is the first candidate to be selected for the award after two years of no qualified winners.

“This is a very prestigious award and we are so proud to see Dr. Yang recognized for all he’s contributed to his field,” said Farshad Fotouhi, dean of the WSU College of Engineering.

The ASQ has over 80,000 professional members in over 150 countries who work to increase production quality and efficiency all over the world.

The Craig Award was established by the Automotive Division to recognize the dedicated service of Dr. Cecil C. Craig, professor emeritus in the Mathematics Department at the University of Michigan. The purpose of the Craig Award is to promote interest and encourage the writing of technical and management papers by the Automotive Division membership, and to promote their presentation at Automotive Division sponsored programs.

Yang received his award on June 27 at the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.