Mao Yisheng, a renowned bridge engineer, engineer educationist and social activist in China, was born in 1896. He entered Jiaotong University's Tangshan Engineering College (now Southwest Jiaotong University) and earned his bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1917. He earned his Master's degree from Cornell University and earned the first Ph.D. ever granted by the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1919. His doctoral treatise entitled Secondary Stress on Frame Construction is treasured at the Hunt Library of Carnegie Mellon University. Mao won the honorary title of Foreign Academician issued by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States in 1982.