Professor Yu specialized in process metallurgy, obtaining BEng in 1982 and MEng in 1985 from Northeastern University, PhD in 1990 from the University of Wollongong, and DSc in 2007 from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). After two-year postdoctoral experience with CSIRO Division of Mineral and Process Engineering and about half a year working with University of Wollongong as a research fellow, he joined UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering, being Lecturer (1992-95), Senior Lecturer (1995-97), Associate Professor (1998-01), Professor (2001-14) and Scientia Professor (2007-14). In May 2014, he joined Monash University as Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor and President of Monash-Southeast University joint venture. He also holds honorary, concurrent or guest professorships with many other universities.
He is a world-leading scientist in particle/powder technology and process engineering, has authored/co-authored >1000 publications (including more than 700 articles collected in the ISI Web of Science), organised numerous international conferences, attracted > $75M external funds mainly via various competitive funding schemes (>60 ARC DP/LP/LIEF grants), graduated >40 postdoc fellows and >100 PhD, and delivered many plenary/keynote presentations at different international conferences. He is Editor-in-Chief, Handbook (a book series) of Powder Science and Engineering (2014-), Executive Editor, Powder Technology (2013-), Granular Matter (2018-), and Particuology (2008-13), while guest-editing for a number of journals and on the editorial/advisory boards of about 20 learned journals.
He was Inaugural Director of the UNSW multidisciplinary research centre for simulation and modelling of particulate systems (2000-07), Deputy Director of ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials (2008-10), Founding Director of Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials (2013-15) and ARC Industrial Transformation Hub for Computational Particle Technology (2016-). He has also been on the management committee or advisory board of various multidisciplinary research centres at national and university levels, currently chairing the Technical Advisory Committee of Baosteel-Australian Universities Joint R&D Centre (2011-). While working in Suzhou, he has also established the Specialised Research Institute for Process Modelling and Optimisation, sponsored by Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute and Suzhou Industrial Park (2016-).
He is a recipient of various prestigious fellowships and awards, including ARC Queen Elizabeth II (1993-97), Australian Professorial (2005-2009) and Federation (2008-12) Fellowships, the Josef Kapitan Ironmaking Award from the Iron and Steel Society, USA (2002), Outstanding Overseas Chinese Scholar Award, China (2003), Ian Wark Medal and Lecture from Australian Academy of Science (2010), ExxonMobil Award from Australian and New Zealand Federation of Chemical Engineers (2010), NSW Scientist of the Year in the category of engineering, mathematics and computer sciences (2010), Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering (2011), Top 100 Most Influential Engineers in Australia (2011), Postdoctoral Supervisor of the Year Award from UNSW (2012), AIChE’s Shell Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems (2019) and Alumni Award for Research and Scholarship by University of Wollongong (2019). He is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Science (AAS), Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Royal Society of New South Wales (RSNSW), and Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). He is also a Foreign Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE).
In addition to various roles for different industries, he has served for a number of governmental organisations, e.g. being a Member of the ARC College of Experts (Engineering and Environmental Sciences, 2006-08) and DEST Research Quality Framework (Engineering and Technology, 2007), Panel Member for DIISR International Science Linkage and Endeavour Scholarships/Fellowships Schemes (2009-12), Member of DIISR Research Workforce Strategy – Chemical Sciences Analysis Team (2010) and Member of Expert Working Group for Australia’s Diaspora Advantage, Securing Australia’s Future (2014/15). He acted as Honorary Secretary, ATSE NSW Division (2006-10), and a member of ATSE Assembly/Council (2008-10); Chair, AAS NSW Region (2013-14) and Member (and Chair, 2014-16), Sectional Committee – Physical and Engineering Sciences (2013-16). He is President (2007-08), Chair of Advisory Board (2009-10) and Honorary President (2011-), Federation of Chinese Scholars in Australia; a Member, Overseas Expert Advisory Board – Science and Technology, Chinese Government; and a Scientific Advisor to Guangzhou and Beijing Cities.