Department of Engineering / Profiles / Dr Jize Yan

Department of Engineering

Dr Jize Yan


Jize Yan

Senior Research Associate

Academic Division: Civil Engineering

Research group: Geotechnical and Environmental

Telephone: +44 1223 7 48588



Research interests

  • Dr Jize Yan will move to the University of Southampton as an Associate Professor in the School of Electronics and Computer Science in 2016. 
  • Self-powered wireless MEMS sensor system (MEMS sensors, energy harvesting and wireless sensor network) (supported by CSIC, EPSRC, TSB and industrial funds): In order to manage infrastructure assets efficiently and safely, engineers will require more detailed information about structural performance. A key source of this information will come from monitoring data. However, installing traditional wired monitoring systems on large-scale civil infrastructure assets is time consuming and expensive. An alternative is to use WSNs that are faster to install and potentially cheaper on the sensor-by-sensor cost basis. Advances in the development of miniature MEMS sensor, WSN and energy harvesting offer new possibilities that can radically alter the paradigms underlying existing methods of condition assessment and monitoring of ageing civil engineering infrastructure.
  • Distributed optical fibre sensor (supported by CSIC, EPSRC, TSB and industrial funds): Although strain measurement is well established, current practice has until recently been restricted to measurement of point-wise strains by means of vibrating wire (VWSG) or metal foil strain gauges and more recently by fibre optics utilising Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) technology. Distributed optical fibre sensors (such as BOTDR and BOTDA) allow measurement of strain and temperature at any location along a standard single fibre sensor of 10-30 km. Long distance, dynamic, high resolution, single ended FO sensing are still open issues in the field. The research will advance the DOFS to the dynamic level utilizing the essential benefits in both Brillouin-scattering and Rayleigh-scattering to monitor the temperature and strain dynamically and continuously over very long-distance in real applications to understand the continuous behavior of large infrastructure such as bridges, piles, buildings, highway, dams, tunnels and railway. This unique feature, having no parallel in conventional sensing systems, will open new possibilities for infrastructural health monitoring.
  • Energy recovery, monitoring and control of electrochemical synthesis (supported by C4T, National Research Foundation Singapore and industrial funds): Emerging research coupling chemical synthesis with electrical current generation has evolved from battery, fuel cell, and electrosynthesis technologies. Realisation of electrochemical cogeneration and synthetic methods with exquisite control of reaction parameters, requires technological innovation, new directions in electrochemical reactor engineering and mechanistic understanding of the electrolytic reactions. The research will deliver high sensitivity electroanalytical methodologies, control and monitor the electrical energy to deliver the energy recovery during chemical synthesis to reduce the net carbon emission. An example project:
    • Today, Li-ion batteries are widely used as a portable power sources for various electrical and electronic devices. In order to cope with more applications, Li-ion batteries are being made lighter, more durable and powerful. However, due to the nature of a Li-ion battery, associated use and safety issues in actual practice (including fires and explosions) are not negligible. Intelligent monitoring and power management will offer a system level of solution and open new opportunities for smart energy control for industrial applications.

Strategic themes

Energy, transport and urban infrastructure

Smart sensing in energy, transport and urban infrastructure.

Uncertainty, risk and resilience

Reduce the uncertainty and risk in smart infrastructure using sensing technology.

Inspiring research through industrial collaboration

Closely working with electronic, manufacturing and civil industrial partners.

Research projects

  • Electrochemical Multi-scale Science, Engineering and Technology (EMSET), Cambridge Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology (C4T), Co-PI, £10M
  • EPSRC IAA fund: Developing the Second CSIC FOSA Prototype System, Co-Investigator
  • CAPE Project: Distributed analyser assessment and reinforced FO cable development, Co-Investigator
  • EPSRC/TSB: CSIC Tranche 2 Development of Robust CSIC Sensor Technology​
  • EPSRC/TSB: The development and miniaturization of distributed FO sensor analysers, Investigator, £257k+£358k (Industry)
  • EPSRC/TSB: Low power distributed MEMS strain sensors for infrastructure monitoring, Investigator, £273k+£581k (Industry)
  • EPSRC/TSB: Energy Harvesting from Ambient Vibrations, Investigator, £80k+£50k (Industry)
  • Samsung GRO project: Intelligent monitoring & safety management for Li-ion batteries, Co-PI, $130k
  • EPSRC/TSB: WSN-MAX (Maximizing the potential of WSN for Infrastructure monitoring), £436k+£697k (Industry)
  • 530 Plan: Protection and evaluation of large infrastructure using WSN, Co-PI, ¥1M

Teaching activity

Dr Yan has supervised and co-supervised undergraduate, master and PhD students.

Research opportunities

Undergraduate and graduate students are very welcome to join in the interdisciplinary research projects.

Other positions

Editorial Board of

  • IET Science, Measurement and Technology
  • International Journal of Smart Sensing and Intelligent Systems
  • Innovative Infrastructure Solutions

Science peer reviewer for grant applications:

  • Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, State of Israel
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, New Zealand

Journal reviewer of:

  • J. Physics D: Applied Physics
  • APL
  • IEEE Electron Device Letters
  • Optics Express
  • Micro and Nano Letters
  • Lab on a Chip
  • Soft Matter
  • Cryst Eng Comm
  • Sensors
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Advances
  • Sensors and Actuators A
  • Biomedical Microdevices
  • J. Micromechanics and Microengineering
  • ​Smart Materials and Structures
  • Measurement Science and Technology
  • Microelectronics Reliability
  • International Journal of Nanomanufacturing
  • Semiconductor Science and Technology

IEEE member

ASME member

PhD Examiner for the University of Cambridge

CREATE IRP2 Cambridge Strategy Group

Core member of Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure


Dr J. Yan received the Bachelor Degree from Tsinghua University, China, in 2003, and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2007. He is a Senior Research Associate with the Principal Investigator status, based in the Department of Engineering. He is affiliated to the CSIC, C4T and St Edmund College. He is closely working with electronic, manufacturing and civil industrial partners. He has interdisciplinary collaborations with many research groups in Cambridge as well as in other research institutes.