Tech innovator and international entrepreneur Ying Wu earned his M.S. degree in electrical engineering from NJIT in 1988. Wu was born and grew up in Beijing where he now lives with his wife Yalan Wu ’87 MS CE, an NJIT alumna.
“Ying Wu’s generosity of spirit and focus on innovation and excellence exemplify what we work diligently to teach all of our students,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “He is creating new scholarships and new opportunities for thousands of students who will be well educated at NJIT and who will make outstanding contributions to the economy and quality of life, locally and internationally.”
Wu, chair of China Capital Group, earned his bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Beijing Industrial University. Before coming to the U.S. for graduate study, he taught at Beijing Polytechnic University, now Beijing University of Technology. Wu arrived in California from China in the late 1980s with less than $30. To support himself, Wu worked his way across America and researched best options for graduate studies before enrolling at NJIT, with the intention of focusing on computers and telecommunications. He discovered a supportive environment and an invaluable teaching assistantship, which allowed him to participate in all NJIT had to offer.
Wu credits his NJIT educational experience with placing him on the road to success. As a manager, he said his goal is to nurture and develop management teams, facilitate access to key decision makers and support strategic partnerships vital to growth. After graduating from NJIT, he went on to work at Bell Communications Research and AT&T Bell Labs (now Bell Labs).
In 1991, Wu founded his own telecommunications firm, Starcom Network Systems. After merging with Unitech Telecom in 1995, Wu became CEO of UTStarcom until 2007. Wu has spent the last decade investing in innovative projects and serving on the board of various companies in China and abroad. He is currently a member of the think tank Consultant Committee of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council and senior consultant on the Internet industry for the Shenzhen city government. He is also chairman of E-China Alliances.
CCS Dean Marek Rusinkiewicz noted that “computational science and data science have created new paradigms through which all scientific disciplines query the world.” He said CCS is well on its way to becoming one of the best colleges of computing in the nation with some programs already ranked among top 50 nationally. The generous Wu gift will be used to expand undergraduate scholarships and graduate student fellowships as well as for expansion of laboratories and the purchase of key equipment.
CCS was established in 2001, as the only program of its kind in New Jersey, with the mission of education through a broad range of computing disciplines, to carry out cutting-edge computing research and to work closely with industry. The largest of all such programs in the New York metropolitan region, CCS may be best known for its robust cybersecurity and big data research and programs. CCS students -- who are provided access to mobile devices, high-end workstations, game development software, robots and networking equipment -- are highly recruited
Supportive of NJIT’s overall mission, Wu has been active as an alumnus. He helped to organize the NJIT Alumni Association’s most distant Regional Club, in China, and presided at the group’s first gathering. The dozen Ph.D. alumni attending elected Wu the first chair of the club by acclamation. Also, he hosted alumni gatherings during President Bloom’s and Dr. Diane Bloom’s recent visits to China.
In 2005, he pledged a major gift to the Helen and John C. Hartmann Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to establish the Ying Wu Endowed Chair in Wireless Communications. This endowed fund enabled fellowships for graduate students within the department. Also, Wu received naming recognition with the Ying Wu 1988 Endowed Professorship. Additionally, he has been awarded the 2000 NCE Outstanding Alumnus, the 2011 Weston Medal, the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award and will receive an honorary degree during Commencement, May 17.
Wu has been recognized internationally as a leader in his industry. In 1998 Business Week named him as one of the 50 Starts of Asia. In 2003, China Central TV (CCTV) named Wu one of the Top 10 Most Influential Persons in China’s economy. He has been awarded the Distinguished Entrepreneur Award by the Overseas Chinese Affairs of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. He also was awarded an Honorary Professorship from the Beijing Industrial University and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. In addition, Wu is a featured mentor in the MIT-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum and a board member of the Nature Conservancy. Wu is recognized as an expert in his field and has spoken throughout the world at economic forums.
Wu’s multimillion-dollar gift is part of the NJIT NEXT comprehensive campaign, which exceeded its $150 million goal two years early to become the largest fundraising effort in university history. The 10-year campaign, which raised $153,700,251 or 102 percent of the goal by June 30, 2015, supports scholarships, faculty fellowships, endowed chairs, programs and facilities.
Nearly 20,000 donors (alumni, faculty, staff, students, friends, foundations and corporations) contributed gifts to NJIT NEXT since its launch in July 2007. Of those gifts 75 were leadership contributions of $250,000 or more, including several multimillion-dollar donations. In the fall, a new goal of $200 million was announced. To date, the NJIT NEXT campaign has raised about $169.4 million.