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Chen Liang, 32

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 01 - August 29, 1996

Chen Liang was one of three San Diego State professors shot and killed in August at a critique of a graduate student's thesis.

Liang, 32, was faculty adviser to Frederick Martin Davidson, who allegedly fired at the faculty members gathered for his thesis defense.

Davidson and Liang had received a grant from McDonnell Douglas to research "shape-memory alloy," a metal that can be twisted and will hold its shape until heated.

Liang worked with Craig Rogers, former director of the university's Center for Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, for about five years. "He was an internationally renowned researcher," Rogers said.

After receiving his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 1990, Liang taught and conducted research at Virginia Tech and was a senior researcher at Rogers' Blacksburg firm, Paradigm Inc. He left Blacksburg in August 1994 to accept a tenure-track position at San Diego State and to build his own research program.

"He was beyond his years as an assistant professor," says Rogers. "He was truly a gem for San Diego State University."

There will be a service for Liang Tuesday, Sept. 3 at noon in Memorial Chapel on campus.