Cover photo for Joseph J.S. Shang's Obituary
Joseph J.S. Shang Profile Photo
1936 Joseph 2021

Joseph J.S. Shang

May 29, 1936 — October 25, 2021

SHANG, Dr. Joseph J.S., age 85, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, October 25, 2021. He unexpectedly succumbed to complications arising from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Joseph Shang considered himself an ordinary person and lived by the ethos to live a simple, peaceful life. However, he lived an extraordinary life, one filled with accolades and rewards and fueled by his passion and energy for the two loves of his life, his research, and his family. Born in Nanking, China on May 29, 1936, to a well-respected family in Hunan Province, his family left China in 1949 to settle in Taiwan. He received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering with honors from National Cheng-Kung University and entered compulsory military service and became a Second Lieutenant.

In 1960, he moved to New York City and received his M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering from Polytechnic University of New York. In New York City, he met the love of his life and married Karen Shang, his wife of 59 years. He said that during this courtship he received the only “C’s” he ever received for academic classes in his life and did so without regret. In 1969, he received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Ohio State University.

His professional career began in 1967 as a Visiting Scientist and Research Engineer and spanned to 2017. During this time, he received roles of increasing responsibility in the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory from Group Leader, Senior Scientist, to Leader-Center of Excellence for Computing Simulation, and later as Research Professor of Mechanical Engineering for Wright State University. He was a prolific researcher and a pioneer in making breakthrough contributions in the field of computation fluid dynamics used to simulate aerodynamic performance of hypersonic vehicles and later contributions in the computational electromagnetics for radar signature prediction. He has authored over 350 papers, published two textbooks, and distinguished himself with meritorious awards too numerous to quantify for his research and contributions as a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and other prestigious institutions.

Perhaps his lasting and most important professional achievement was the 1000’s of friends and colleagues that he made traveling the world collaborating and presenting his research. He remained extraordinarily proud of mentoring over 60 Ph.D. recipients and affecting their lives in ways beyond academics.

Ultimately his proudest personal achievement was his family. He lived the American dream and settled in the United States and made the most of his opportunity through hard work and determination. He will be remembered by his family as a humble, compassionate, and loving, husband, father, and grandfather that opened his heart to all those he loved and admired.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Karen; sister and brother, Alice and Frank; sons, Clifford and Andrew; daughter-in-law, Elisabeth; grandchildren, Selena, Ethan, and Isabelle. Private family services will be held at a later date. The family would like to extend a special thank you to the ICU staff at Soin Medical Center. In lieu of flowers, family would suggest a donation to the General Scholarship Fund, College of Engineering at Wright State University. Fond memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

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