AE Junior Wins AIAA National Scholarship
Yong came to Illinois after earning a 2005 diploma in Mechatronics Engineering from Ngee Ann Polytechnic University in Singapore. The top student in his class of 500, Yong’s senior design project there led to his developing a Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV).
He designed the craft to be flown autonomously, and introduced in it a Touch-and-Fly system, reducing its operator controls and simplifying take-off and landing maneuvers. The work earned the Silver Award in the Tan Kah Kee Young Inventors' Competition and the Omron-Precicon Prize for outstanding performance in Automation & Robotics Technology. He later represented Singapore in the Creativity-in-Action Contest in Taiwan, and he earned an Outstanding Award for his invention’s creative design and innovation.
In addition to his scholarly work, Yong also served as a 1st Lieutenant in the Singapore Armed Forces during his national service stint. Upon graduating from Officer Cadet School, he was recruited into the Military Intelligence Battalion as an instructor to assist in training pilots in radio-controlled flight and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) operation.
He also worked as an assistant engineer and radio-control pilot for projects with the National University of Singapore and Defense Science Organization There, he worked for a year on UAVs, both indoor and outdoor rotary, and fixed wing and flapping wing models while networking with various companies in the aerospace industry.
Currently, Yong works in the AE Department with Assistant Prof. Soon-Jo Chung on his projects in autonomous flapping flight. Yong also is enrolled in Illinois’ aviation school with plans to earn his private pilot’s license.