Yang-Tse (YT) Cheng

Frank J. Derbyshire Professor of Materials Engineering
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
University of Kentucky
177 FPAT
Lexington, KY 40506-0046, USA
Phone: 859-323-4191; Fax: 859-323-1929


Physics, Peking University, 1978-1980

B.S., Physics and Mathematics (with Honor), Caltech, 1982

M.S., Applied Physics, Caltech, 1983

Ph.D., Applied Physics, Caltech, 1987
Thesis advisors: W. L. Johnson and M.-A. Nicolet
Thesis title: “Ion-beam mixing and the formation of amorphous alloys”

Work History

General Motors R&D Center
Senior Research Scientist, 1987-1992
Staff Research Scientist, 1992-2001
Senior Staff Research Scientist, 2001-2004
GM Technical Fellow, 2004-Dec. 2006
Laboratory Group Manager, Engineered Surfaces and Tribology, 1999-2003
Laboratory Group Manager, Engineered Surfaces and Functional Materials, 2003-Dec. 2006
GM Technical Fellow, July 2007-July 2008

Purdue University
Professor of Industrial Engineering and Materials Engineering, Purdue University, January - May 2007

University of Kentucky
Professor of Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, August 2008 - present

Adjunct Professor, the Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering, University of Windsor, 2002-present
Guest Professor, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, December 2004-present
Visiting Professor, Division of Engineering, Brown University, 2003-2007

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (2017)
  • Fellow, Materials Research Society (2013)
  • Materials Engineering Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Kentucky (2012)
  • Frank J. Derbyshire Professorship (2011-)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society (2005)
  • John M. Campbell Award, GM R&D Center, “Modeling Micro- and Nano-indentation Measurements” (2005)
  • Charles L. McCuen Award, GM R&D Center, “Hard Coatings for High Power Density Transmission Gears” (2005)
  • R. F. Bunshah Award, American Vacuum Society, for best paper on  “What is indentation hardness?” presented at the International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings and Thin Films (2001)
  • John M. Campbell Award, GM R&D Center, “Synthesis and Theory of Novel Surface-Modified Materials” (1995)
  • Graduate Student Award, Materials Research Society (1987)