Dr. Miao Yu received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Tsinghua University in 1996 and 1998, respectively and her Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of Maryland. She joined the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor in January 2005. A core focus of her work is to study biologically systems and apply biologically inspired ideas in engineering systems, with specific research directions promising significant impacts in areas such as health care, safety, and defense.
Yu has also focused on developing fundamental understanding of light and matter interactions at micro and nanoscales, specifically manipulation and sensing of bio-particles with light and manipulation of light with surface plasmonics and metamaterials. Her primary approach to these studies is to develop microscale and nanoscale photonic structures and to study the light and matter interaction at micro and nanoscales. remove this sentence.
Her awards and honors include receipt of the 2006 Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. In 2007 she was recognized with both the NSF CAREER Award and the Young Investigator Research Program Award from AFOSR for her work on biology inspired sensors. Yu holds 10 invention disclosures and 4 issued U.S. patents and one pending U.S. patent. One of these patents was the basis for her receipt of the University of Maryland’s 2002 Invention of theYear award in the category of Physical Sciences and her two other inventions were selected as one of the three finalists for the same award in 2010 and 2011.
She is the director of the Sensors & Actuators Laboratory, dedicated to research on micro/nano sensors, photonics, and smart materials and structures. She was the director of the Maryland Robotics Center from July 2017–June 2019.
Ph.D., (Mechanical Engineering) University of Maryland, 2002
M.S., (Engineering Mechanics) Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 1998
B.S., (Engineering Mechanics) Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 1996
Honors and awards
Young faculty awards
NSF CAREER for "Biology-Inspired Miniature Optical Directional Microphones: Bridging Biological Systems and Sensor Technology," 2007
AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award for fly ear-inspired sensors for micro-air vehicles, 2007
University System of Maryland awards
USM Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Research/Scholarship/Creative Activities, 2019
Wilson H. Elkins Professorship, FY2024–FY2025
University of Maryland awards
The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, 2006
Invention of the Year Award in the Physical Sciences Category, 2002
Six invention disclosures, three U.S. patents in the area of fiber-optic sensor systems
Paper Reviewer for Journal of Precision Engineering, Journal of Mechatronics, and Journal of Experimental Mechanics, AIAA Journal, Journal of Experimental Mechanics, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Journal of Acoustic Society of America, IEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems
ASEE Field Reviewer for Post-doctoral Fellowship Proposals
Program Committee of SPIE Conference on Modeling, Signal Processing and Control, since 2004
Technical Committee of ASME-IMECE on Dynamics and Control of Structures and Systems, since 2006
Program Committee of SPIE Optics East Conference on Sensors for Harsh Environments, 2007
Program Committee of SPIE Photonics Asia Conference on Advanced Materials and Devices for Sensing and Imaging, 2007
Wave matter interactions; photonic sensors; metamaterials, micro- and nano-scale sensor systems; bio-inspired sensors, robotic sensing; sensor networks; adaptive optics, wavefront sensing and control, imaging through turbulence; smart materials and structures
- Y. Liu and M. Yu, "Investigation of inclined dual-fiber optical tweezers for 3D manipulation and force sensing," Opt. Express, 17, 13624-13638, 2009.
- H. Liu, M. Yu, and X. M. Zhang, “Biomimetic optical directional microphone with structurally coupled diaphragms,” Applied Physics Letters, 93, 243902, 2008.
- M. Yu, X. Long, and B. Balachandran, “Sensor diaphragm under initial tension: nonlinear responses and design implications,” Journal of Sound and Vibration, Vol. 312, pp. 39–54, 2008.
- S. Nesson, M. Yu, X. M. Zhang, and A. Hsieh, “Miniature fiber-optic pressure sensor with composite polymer-metal diaphragm for intradiscal pressure measurements,” Journal of Biomedical Optics, Vol. 13(4), 044040, 2008.
- L. Currano, S. Bauman, W. Churaman, M. Peckerar, J. Wienke, S. Kim, M. Yu, and B. Balachandran, “Latching MEMS shock sensors for ultra-low power acceleration monitoring,” Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, Vol. 147 (2), pp. 490-497, 2008.
- W. M. Zhu, T. Zhong, A. Q. Liu, X. M. Zhang, and M. Yu, “Micromachined optical well structure for thermo-optic switching,” Applied Physics Letters, 91, 261106, 2007.
- M. Yu and B. Balachandran, “Pressure sensor diaphragm under initial tension: linear analysis,” Experimental Mechanics, Vol. 45 (2): pp 123-129, 2005.
- M. Yu and M. A. Vorontsov, “Compensation of distant phase-distorting layers I: Narrow field of view adaptive receiver system,” Journal of the Optical Society of America A, Vol. 21(9), pp.1645-1658, 2004.
- M. A. Vorontsov and M. Yu, “Compensation of distant phase-distorting layers II: Extended field of view adaptive receiver system,” Journal of the Optical Society of America A, Vol. 21(9), pp. 1659-1668, 2004.
- M. Yu and B. Balachandran, “Acoustic measurements using a fiber optic sensor system,” Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 14(7), pp. 409-414, 2003.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- NSF: BLUES: Boundary Layer Under-Ice Environmental Sensing
- NSF: Ideas Lab: Light in the Dark: Fiber Optic Sensing of Climate-Critical Carbon Cycle Components at Water/Ice-Air Interfaces
- NSF: Characterization and Robust Multivariable Control of the Dynamics of Gas Exchange During Peritoneal Oxygenated Perfluorocarbon Perfusion
- USDA NIFA: Transforming shellfish farming with smart technology and management practices for sustainable production
- AFOSR: Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas (NIFTI)
- NSF CMMI: Graded-Index Metamaterial Waveguides: An Innovative Approach to Acoustic Wave Control
- NSF: Compliant Multifunctional Robotic Structures for Safety and Communication by Touch
- NSF CMMi: Mimicking How the Fly Hears: a New Approach Towards Sound Source Localization
- NSF: Dexterous Fiber Optic Tweezers for Bio-Particle Manipulation and Force Sensing
- NSF CAREER: Biology-Inspired Miniature Optical Directional Microphones: Bridging Biological Systems and Sensor Technology