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77, of Lisle, IL, formerly of College Station, TX, West Lafayette, IN, Albuquerque, NM and Champaign-Urbana, IL. At peace, December 23, 2009 at Villa St Benedict, Lisle. He was born in Shanghai, China.

Survived by his devoted children, Tina (Peyton Smith), Timothy (Nan Fancher) Yao of Naperville, IL and Shana Yao of Los Angeles, CA; and his grand-daughter, Kristiana Yao. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Anna Lee Yao, in 2006.

Dr. Yao earned his BSCE and MSCE from the Univ. of IL, Champaign-Urbana, as well as his PhD in Civil Engineering in 1961. He was a professor with the Univ. of New Mexico (1964-1971), Purdue Univ. (1971-1988), and Texas A&M Univ. (1988 – 2002). During his career he made significant contributions in the areas of earthquake engineering, structural safety and reliability, structural control, civil infrastructure management, and in engineering education. He was the Dept Head of CE at Texas A&M (1988-1993), the holder of the Carolyn S. and Tommie E. Lohman Professor of Engineering Education (1996-2002) and retired Professor Emeritus in 2002. He served as Editor of the Journal of Structural Engineering (1990-1992). He was the recipient of the Max Planck Research Award from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation (1990), a Fellow with the American Society of Engineering Education, and an Honorary Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). In ASCE, he won the following awards: State-of-the-Art of Civil Engineering Award (1973 and 1983), Alfred M. Freudenthal Medal (1990), Richard R. Torrens Award (1992), President's Medal (1995), Norman Medal (1999), Journal of Professional Issues Best Paper Award (2000). Dr. Yao also held memberships in the Chi Epsilon CE Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. Both the field of civil engineering and Dr. Yao's life were enriched by the numerous talented students he taught and mentored during his career.

He loved the game of volleyball and the art of paper folding. Upon his retirement, he returned to IL in 2004 and resided at Villa St Benedict until his death.

Memorials may be contributed to the existing Anna Lee and James T. P. Yao scholarships in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University or Texas A&M University.

Visitation will be Thursday, December 31, 9:30 AM until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM at the Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel, 1910 Maple Ave, Lisle, IL 60532. A private interment will be held at a later date at Assumption Cemetery, Wheaton.

Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home

44 S. Mill Street, Naperville, IL 60540

Info: 630/355-0213 or