Kewen Karen Yin, 60, a prolific professor in the department of bio-based products at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus, died on July 8 in Novi, Mich. after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Kewen Karen Yin was born on June 21, 1946, in Beijing, China. After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Beijing Institute of Chemical Technology, she worked as an engineer at Lanzhou Chemical Industry Company, Chemical Industry Design Institute (Lanzhou), Chemical Industry Design Corporation (Beijing), and then as a lecturer at Wuhan Institute of Material Science (Beijing), China for more than 14 years. In 1985, she came to the U.S. to pursue yet more advanced degrees. She received an M.S. in mathematical statistics and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1990 and 1991, respectively. She then joined the department of chemical engineering at the University of Minnesota-Duluth as an assistant professor. In 1996, she was promoted to associate professor. She later joined the department of bio-based products at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus and became a full professor in 2003.
Her research focused on modeling, optimization, monitoring, and control of systems involving randomness and uncertainty. In addition to carrying out theoretical research on parameter estimation, adaptive control, algorithm design, and multivariate statistical methods for fault detection and diagnosis, she worked on applying systems theory to such applications as improving monitoring and control in the pulp and paper industry to detect and diagnose faults in the papermaking, processing sonar data to improve identification of lake bed substrates, using drill data to improve blasting design and fragmentation. Her research was funded by the National Science Foundation, Minnesota Sea Grant, Iron Ore Cooperative Research Committee and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Besides a full life of teaching and student advising, she published more than 50 papers in academic journals and books.
Survivors include her two brothers, George of Novi, Mich. and Nianzu of Beijing, China; a niece, Le; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins both in the United States and in China.
A memorial service will be held in September at the Department of Bio-based Products, University of Minnesota, to celebrate her life. For more information about the service, call Ms. Dorit Hafner at (612) 624-3089 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org after July 30. Please sign the online guestbook.