The Institute for Systems Research
Maryland Robotics Center
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 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.
UMD’s Tubaldi Wins NSF CAREER AwardImproved cardiovascular implants could be one result of an ME faculty member’s groundbreaking research.
UMD’s SeaDroneSim can generate simulated images and videos to help UAV systems recognize ‘objects of interest’ in the waterThe suite’s simulated objects could fill a large dataset gap for the UAV-based computer vision systems used in searching for maritime objects.
Two papers by Yu and colleagues advance development of lenses and waveguidesThe innovations may improve devices used in health monitoring, energy harvesting, vibration control and other fields.
'OysterNet' + underwater robots will aid in accurate oyster countThe ability to mathematically model and simulate oysters will help scientists more quickly and accurately detect the density of the bivalves in the Chesapeake Bay.
The Modern Battle for Maryland’s OystersUMD researchers use AI and robotics to help revive a struggling industry.
Acoustic waveguide developed using cascaded acoustic Luneburg lensesThe invention could be used as an on-chip waveguide as part of an acoustic circuit for acoustic communications.
Zhao, Yu, Horiuchi propose gradient index acoustic metamaterial Luneburg lensThe researchers achieve double-foci and high energy density, realizing an ultra-long acoustic jet between the two foci.
Newly-Opened SMART Building to Spur Autonomy ResearchMaryland engineering will benefit from state-of-the-art labs and facilities at USMSM.
UMD Engineers Help Pioneer New Treatment for Respiratory FailureNSF awards $3.6 million to support “third lung” research.
Using underwater robots to detect and count oystersThis UMD project is one part of a larger USDA NIFA grant to modernize shellfish aquaculture
Young Investigator Fellowship Supports "Third Lung" ResearchProject members are developing the "Third Lung," a transformative technology for extra-pulmonary respiration.
UMD Researchers to Have a Strong Showing at ICRA 2021University of Maryland researchers will present 15 papers at the IEEE International Conference on Robotis and Automation (ICRA 2021) to held on May 30 to June 5, 2021.
Stretchable, soft sensing skins for robotsSuch skins could equip soft robots with integrated sensing and estimation.
Nanotechnology pushes RI-based gas sensing forwardMiao Yu's research on ultracompact fiber-optic differential gas sensor published in Optics Express.
‘Smellicopter’ drone uses live moth antenna to seek smells, avoid obstaclesTimothy Horiuchi is a co-author on the research published in IOP Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.
MRC Faculty and Researchers to Present 16 Papers at International Robotics Conference - IROS 2020International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems - From 25 October 2020 until 29 November 2020
Maryland engineers receive $10M to transform shellfish farmingThe team will help farmers tap the economic potential and environmental benefits of shellfish aquaculture.
Spread Hope: The "Smart Bra"The "smart bra" is a low-cost wearable device that could conceivably detect breast cancer early enough for treatment.
A multi-functional variable thickness Luneburg lens for energy harvestingThe lens could also be used in structural health monitoring, medical diagnosis and therapy and ultrasonic imaging.
Derek Paley named Maryland Robotics Center directorPaley's term will begin July 1, 2019.
Miao Yu honored with USM Regents Faculty AwardYu will be honored for her for excellence in research/scholarship/creative activities.
Maryland Robotics Center students present results of semester-long project on robotics in agriculture and aquacultureTeams identified challenges of Maryland agriculture and aquaculture that could be addressed or assisted with robotics technologies.
Lu, Gollob win ISR annual awardsISR's outstanding graduate student and undergraduate student awards were given at the Institute's welcome back reception.
Bioinspired robotics REU students present final projectsThe REU was led by Hugh Bruck and Sarah Bergbreiter, along with Clark School faculty and graduate student mentors.
Yu Named ASME FellowProfessor Miao Yu has been named an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Fellow.
ISR faculty leading bio-inspired robotics and transportation electrification REUsNSF's REU program provides undergraduate students with hands-on exposure to scientific research.
Miao Yu named Maryland Robotics Center directorYu develops sensors useful in a variety of robotics applications.
Miao Yu promoted to full professorHer new rank will become effective July 1, 2017.
Miao Yu wins NSF grant to develop planar photonic crystalsWork could contribute to development of novel ultrasound transducers.
New AFOSR NIFTI Center features eight Clark School facultyCenter will create bio-inspired solutions for small, remotely operated aircraft.
Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program Approves 18 Technology Development ProjectsWorth $4.7 million, the projects team Maryland faculty and companies to bring products closer to market.
Students present final projects for 2014 NSF Microrobotics REUResearch ranged from robotic skin to leg designs, inertial tail actuators, and more.
Bruck, Smela, Yu receive NSF grant for compliant multifunctional robotic structuresNational Robotics Initiative grant will develop a robotic 'nervous system.'
Six ISR students named to Future Faculty Fellows programClark School program prepares students for academic careers in Top-50 engineering schools.
Miao Yu selected for NAE Frontiers of Engineering SymposiumYu is one of 100 young engineers selected to discuss cutting-edge research.
Davis, Yu, Subrahmanian finalists at Invention of the Year AwardsAnnual awards honor outstanding inventors and inventions from the University of Maryland.
Miao Yu promoted to Associate Professor with TenureYu recently was a finalist for Invention of the Year.
Miao Yu wins NSF grant for fiber optic tweezersThe project will develop a flexible and efficient dexterous dual fiber tweezers system.
Espy-Wilson, Rubloff win 'Invention of the Year' awardsInventions could improve speech comprehension in noisy environments, battery capacity.
Mathieu Aubailly is new Assistant Research ScientistFormer ISR postdoc conducts research in the Intelligent Optics Laboratory.
Six ISR students selected for Future Faculty ProgramClark School program helps students prepare for academic positions.
Aerospace publication highlights Miao Yu researchFly ear work of ISR-affiliated professor could aid MAV navigation.
Yu, Balachandran awarded US Patent 7,428,054Micro-optical fiber tip based sensor system will measure pressure, acceleration and pressure gradients.
Spring 2008 Systems Solutions availableTwo symposiums, research and industry news, faculty and alumni updates, and more in ISR's newsletter.
Miao Yu Receives AFOSR YIP AwardAward will support research on fly ear-inspired sensors for detection and localization.
Patent issued to Balachandran, Al-Bassyiouni and YuThe invention is a fiber optic sensor system for pressure measurements.
OE-MEMS Chip-Based Mass Sensor for Chemical, Gas, and Bio-Hazard Sensing (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Micro-Optical Sensor Systems for Displacement, Pressure, and Acceleration Measurements (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Fiber Optic Sensor Systems for Pressure Gradient, Velocity, and Acoustic Intensity Measurements (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Fiber Tip Based Fiber Optic Sensor Systems (ISR IP)This IP is available to license.
Miao Yu wins NSF CAREER AwardYu's research will create a new class of miniature directional microphones inspired by the remarkable sound localizing ears of the fly Ormia.
Miao Yu wins Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement AwardISR-affiliated Assistant Professor Miao Yu (ME) will receive funds to assist with research.
Yu joining Mechanical Engineering DepartmentDecember 2004—ISR postdoctoral researcher accepts tenure-track position.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
- 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