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Passages: URI Mourns Loss Of Professor

Assistant Professor Peng Wang died on Monday morning when his car crashed into a commercial cement mixer truck. He was 36.


The University community is deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Peng Wang, assistant professor of chemical engineering and pharmaceutical sciences.

The 36-year-old professor and researcher was killed Monday, Feb. 6 at 10:20 a.m. when the car he was driving collided with a cement mixer on Route 138 about a quarter mile west of Dugway Bridge Road.

The University community offers its heartfelt condolences to his wife, Ran Luo and their 7-month-old child, Carolyn.

Dr. Wang, a resident of Hartford, Conn., was a promising young researcher assigned to the College of Engineering and the College of Pharmacy. He worked as part of a research group that focuses on the thermodynamics of mixing mechanisms of polymer drug mixtures. The group’s work is to develop novel methods of controlling drug release, which is being funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Army and various industries.

“Dr. Wang represented the best of the University,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald H. DeHayes. “He was not only a pioneer in his research, but he was a pioneer in bringing together the disciplines of engineering and pharmaceutical research. His death is a profound loss for URI and for his family.”

Raymond Wright, dean of URI’s College of Engineering, said Dr. Wang was an innovative and enthusiastic teacher and researcher.

“We are devastated by the loss of Professor Wang, and we offer our thoughts and prayers to his family, colleagues and friends,” Wright said. “His commitment to developing novel drug control release mechanisms has laid the foundation for pharmaceutical advancements that can only lead to more effective treatments for numerous medical conditions. He will be sorely missed.”

Professor Wang earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 2004 and he earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

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