Conrad Wan Ph.D.

September 20, 1920 - April 3, 2014 Born in Tianjin, China. His father, Wan Bee Chen, Board Chairman, Continental Bank of China, provided a privileged childhood. Conrad graduated at 15 with a degree in Math/Engr from National Chiao Tung University, Shanghai, where he also became an accomplished clarinetist. His father sent him to America in 1939 to escape the Japanese invasion. He attended Purdue University for 1 year. While speaking no English, he joined the Marching Band using music as the universal language. In 1940, he transferred to Illinois Institute of Technology where he excelled and was awarded his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics in 1948. In 1946, he married Corinne Wan, his brother's former spouse. After WWII, Corinne returned from China with 3 Wan children, and Conrad felt duty-bound to help raise them. Hired by Chance Vought Aircraft in Connecticut, they moved to Texas when Chance Vought was strategically relocated in 1948. Conrad became a specialist in understanding vibration and other physical stresses fighter planes must endure at high speeds under combat conditions. One design project was the WWII Navy Corsair. Dr. Wan was known as the "Yellow Peril" because engineers were severely challenged when their design concepts would not get past him unless they were 100% correct and aerodynamically sustainable. His California career included Lockheed, Hughes Aircraft, and Ford Aerospace/Satellite Communication. A long-time Sierra Club member, he hiked with friends every week until his health intervened. One of his treasures is his "Hike America" walking staff adorned with engraved metal medallions from State and National Parks he visited. His love of classical music sustained him. As a member of a Baroque Chamber Ensemble he played his oboe at churches and other venues. Even near the end of his life, his grandson Michael gave him an iPod which his dear friend, well known classical pianist Nina Scolnik, loaded with his favorite classical music. He livened with a big smile and pretended he was conducting an orchestra. Continuing a life of philanthropy, Dr. Wan's remains were donated to UC Irvine. He is survived by children, Geoffrey Wan, Grace Anderson and Michelle Wan; 4 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. Corinne died in 2000. Memorial Service April 27, 1 pm at Forbidden City Restaurant, Long Beach. Call Geoffrey @310-480-9599 for details.

Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 18 to Apr. 20, 2014