By Joe Garvey

Cheng Yang Lin, a professor of engineering technology at Old Dominion University's Batten College of Engineering and Technology, died on Aug. 1. He was 68.

Lin, who joined the University in 1989, was tenured in 1995 and promoted to full professor in 2008. He also served as the department's mechanical engineering technology program director from 2008 to 2018. He was an expert the areas of automation, controls and robotics, said Isaac L. "Ike" Flory IV, associate professor and chair of the Engineering Technology Department. Lin was active in local industrial research, teaching training courses for local industries and professional engineer reviews, as well as consultation.

Lin published 15 journal articles, 24 proceedings, two technical papers and 10 technical reports in robotics, automation control, GD&T and other applied researches. In addition, he co-wrote one patent. He was a registered professional engineer in Virginia. In 2006, he won the Outstanding Leadership Award from the International Conference on Agile Manufacturing.

"Dr. Lin gave 31 years of dedicated service to the department, college and University, and his presence will be greatly missed," said Ben Stuart, interim dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues in their time of sorrow. This is another tragic loss for our BCET family."

Frederic "Rick" McKenzie, professor and chair of the Department of Computational Modeling and Simulation Engineering, died last month.

Lin's colleagues - some of whom were former students - recalled his collegiality and the impact he had on their lives.

"Dr. Cheng Lin was my very first professor as an undergraduate student," said Tony Dean, associate professor and assistant dean for research at the college. "Years later, when I became faculty at ODU, he was the first to reach out to me to tell me how proud he was that his former student had become his colleague, and he took pride in the part he played in shaping me as an engineer. He was a great colleague and an even better friend to me through the years."

"Cheng was a great mentor and friend," added Nathan Luetke, program director and master lecturer of mechanical engineering technology. "I remember when I was in his automation and controls class so many years ago as an undergraduate."

Vukica Jovanovic, associate professor of mechanical engineering technology, recalled Lin's prowess at table tennis.

"We all tried to beat him at ping pong, but no luck there," she said. "He was a champion. He would gracefully let us come close but won each time. Such a gentle, nice, wise person."

Prior to joining ODU, Lin had six years of industrial experience in CAD/CAM, jig & fixture design, and CNC programming.

He received his B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University.

Survivors include his wife, Shui; two children, Steven and Jean; two grandchildren, Bryce and Jasper; as well as a host of cousins and friends.

A viewing will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7 at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5033 Rouse Drive, Virginia Beach. You can view the virtual memorial service, which will be conducted at First Chinese Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 8 at

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