Dr Wai-Fah Chen — a Chinese-born American academic and widely recognized structural engineering specialist in the field of mechanics, materials, and computing — has certainly led a fascinating life. A well-respected leader in the field of plasticity, structural stability, and structural steel design over the past half-century, he has made major contributions to introduce the mathematical theory of plasticity to civil engineering practice, especially in the application of limit analysis methods to the geotechnical engineering field. Having headed the engineering departments at the University of Hawaii and Purdue University, Chen is a widely cited author and the recipient of several national engineering awards, including the 1990 Shortridge Hardesty Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers and the 2003 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction.This book traces the life journey and reflections of Dr Chen. It presents a remarkable opportunity to understand his personal history and cultural passions: his struggle to achieve the American dream, his life as an eyewitness to the rise of China, and his career path to establish a solid engineering reputation. Presenting his scientific achievements spanning the last 40 years of his career, readers will thus be privy to his personal thoughts, experiences, and perspectives on these events.

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