Date(s) - 11/14/2019
Tung-Yen Lin (November 14, 1912 – November 15, 2003) was a structural engineer who was the pioneer of standardizing the use of prestressed concrete.
Born in Fuzhou, China as the fourth of eleven children, he was raised in Beijing where his father was a justice of the ROC’s Supreme Court. He did not begin formal schooling until age 11, and only so because his parents forged his birth year to be 1911 so that he would qualify. At only 14, entered Jiaotong University’s Tangshan Engineering College (now Southwest Jiaotong University), having earned the top score in math and the second-best score overall in the college entrance exams for his entering class. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1931 and left for the United States, where he earned his master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1933. Lin’s master’s thesis was the first student thesis published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Lin returned to China after graduation to work with the Chinese Ministry of Railways. Before too long he earned the reputation of being a “good engineer”. This positioned him to become the chief bridge engineer of the Yunnan-Chongqing Railway and oversaw the design and construction of more than 1,000 bridges. He returned to UC Berkeley to join its faculty in 1946 and began to research and develop the practice of prestressed concrete. Lin retired in 1976 to work full-time at T.Y. Lin International, a firm he founded in 1954. After selling that firm, he left it to found Lin Tung-Yen China on June 1, 1992, which oversees engineering projects in China.