Sienhua New and Tsu Way Shen Memorial Award Fund

About the Fund

The Sienhua New and Tsu Way Shen Memorial Award was endowed in memory of Sienhua New and Tsu Way Shen (BCE 1914) in 2007 by Tsung-Ying Shen, their son.  

Tsu Way Shen was born in Shanghai, China in 1891.  He studied at St. John’s University in Shanghai. In the fall of 1910, among the first waves of Chinese students to study abroad after competing in a national exam, he arrived at the University of Michigan.  He graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree, one of three conferred that year. While at Michigan, he was a member of the Chinese Students’ Club.

Tsu Way returned to China in September 1914 and started as an instructor at the Conservancy Engineering College in Nanjing.  In succeeding years, he served as professor of Surveying and Structural Engineering, dean, vice president, and then president from 1922-24.  After the College became part of the National Central University (now Southeast University) in Nanjing, he chaired various engineering departments through the years.  He worked also in the Chinese government’s Ministry of Railways as chief of the Engineering Section and was a member of the Chinese Institute of Engineers since 1914. He died in 1932 after an exhausting trip to rural areas to inspect bridge constructions.

Sienhua New, Tsu Way’s wife, was born in Shanghai in 1896, the daughter of a prominent associate of Sun Yat-Sen, who founded the Republic of China.  As a widow, she worked to raise five children in the 1930s and through the difficult years of World War II. One son, a military airman, was lost during the war.  The other four earned doctoral degrees with distinctive academic accomplishments in the United States. Sienhua New died in 1988.

Dr. Tsung Ying Shen, son of Tsu Way and Sienhua New Shen, was born in 1924 and received his BSc in chemical engineering from the National Central University in Chongqing.  Following a national exam, he won a scholarship for graduate work in England in 1947. He studied first at the Imperial College (London) and then the University of Manchester, from which he received his PhD in organic chemistry in 1950.  He received an honorary DSc degree from Manchester in 1978. After post-doctoral research at The Ohio State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined Merck Research Laboratories in 1956. Dr. Shen is an accomplished medicinal chemist who invented indomethacin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, in close collaboration with innovative pharmacologists.  He retired from Merck in 1986 as a vice president in research, to become the Alfred Burger Professor at the University of Virginia until 2001. Among his recognitions are the 1977 Rene Descartes Medal from the University of Paris, 1984 Achievement Award of the Chinese Institute of Engineers – U.S.A., and inaugural membership in 2007 in the American Chemical Society’s Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame.

Dr. Shen endowed this Memorial Award in 2007, in gratitude to his parents and in the hope of encouraging Chinese engineering graduate students to develop as leaders and innovators in their careers.

Award Administration

The Sienhua New and Tsu Way Shen Memorial Award is administered by the Dean of the College of Engineering in consultation with the Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Education.  The award is intended to ease the recipient’s transition to the United States and may be used at the recipient’s discretion to offset travel to the United States, housing while at the University of Michigan, books, computer supplies, tuition for extracurricular academic enrichment, attendance at professional conferences or other educational pursuits, especially those related to entrepreneurship and multidisciplinary collaboration, or for cultural education such as attendance at musical or artistic events.  The award is for one year and is not renewable.


  • Must be a first-year graduate student (Master’s or PhD) enrolled in the College of Engineering
  • First priority is given to students from any university in Nanjing, China
  • Academic merit (grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale)
  • Intended use of the award as articulated on the award submission form

Selection Criteria

The receipt must be a first year graduate student in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan at the time of receiving the award. The Award Committee will evaluate the applicants based on the academic merit and intended use of the award. First priority will be given to graduates coming from Universities in Nanjing, China.  The Award is for the recipient’s first year at the University of Michigan and is not renewable.

How to Apply

Students who are interested in this fellowship are asked to submit an online application form including their CV/Resume (due January 3, 2024 for the 2023-2024 award). 

Award Responsibilities

Award recipients are asked to provide a one-page report to summarize the major benefits of the award to his/her first year graduate studies at the University of Michigan.