Yang is a world-renowned scholar in the fields of cotton durable press finishing and flame retardant finishing. He has published over 180 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as ten peer-reviewed book chapters, and he holds seven patents-one of which is recognized in seven countries.
He began his research in textile chemistry as a graduate student at Kansas State University. He continued his research on chemical and instrumental analysis of fibers and fabrics at Marshall University. After joining The University of Georgia, Yang extended his research to textile functional finishing. His contributions are in three specific areas: flame retardant finishing of cotton and cotton blends, non-formaldehyde durable press finishing of cotton using multifunctional carboxylic acids, and chemical and instrumental analysis of chemically modified textile fibers.
Yang holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 1969; an M.S. in Polymer Chemistry from Nanjing University in 1981; and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Kansas State University in 1987. He was an assistant professor in the department of Chemistry at Marshall University from 1987 through 1990. He joined the faculty at the department of Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors at The University of Georgia in 1990 as an associate professor, and was promoted to professor in 1995.
He received the Creative Research Medal at The University of Georgia in 1998 and The University of Georgia Chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta Senior Faculty Award in 2004. A member of AATCC since 2002, Yang served on the Millson Award Committee from 2004 through 2007, and chaired this committee in 2008. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society and The Fiber Society.
Established in 1944 in honor of Louis Atwell Olney, the founder and first president of AATCC, the Olney Medal recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science. The award consists of a gold medal, a scroll, and an honorarium.
Presentation of the medal is a highlight of AATCC’s annual International Conference. This year, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Greenville, S.C., USA. The Association will present the Olney Medal at the Awards Luncheon on April 11, 2013.
Yang will deliver the traditional Olney Medal Address on April 11 at 8:15 a.m. The title of his talk is “Crosslinking of Cellulose by Multifunctional Carboxylic Acids to Improve Cotton Wrinkle- and Fire-Resistance.”