Award reinforces contribution in structural engineering

Professor Tao Yu receives high recognition from international body

A strong track record of exploring novel, composite materials for structural engineering has seen UOW’s Professor Tao Yu receive the 2018 Distinguished Young Researcher Award from the global organisation for researchers in the field.

It will see Prof Yu (fourth from right, with members of his research team, above) travel to France in July, to deliver a plenary keynote address on his work at the 9th International Conference on Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Composites in Civil Engineering.

The talk will detail an emerging type of structural technique being advanced in Prof Yu’s research program.

It involves the use of an external fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) tube as a confining device and a corrosion-resistant skin, a concrete infill, and encased steel reinforcement - for example steel bars, a steel section, or a steel tube. These types of structural ‘members’ – as named in this field of study – lead to higher structural performance.

The talk will cover a few novel high-performance hybrid structural members incorporating FRP invented by Prof Yu.

His “outstanding achievements and … contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the FRP field”, was noted in the award announcement by the International Institute for FRP in Construction (IIFC).

The non-profit IIFC is the “premier learned society in the area of composites for infrastructure”, and its Distinguished Young Researcher Award is for a member “not older than 40 years of age, who has distinguished himself/herself from his/her peers through research contributions in the field of FRP composites for construction”. It is awarded every two years.

“Because of their excellent corrosion resistance, the use of innovative hybrid structures enabled by FRP is particularly important for Australia due to the coastal environment in most major cities of the country,” Prof Yu says.

“The Award is thus also timely for the International Centre for Composites in Infrastructure at UOW, which I co-direct, to promote the more extensive applications of composite materials in Australian infrastructure”.

Following his BEng degree, Prof Yu received his PhD degree in 2007 from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Prof Yu has since worked on various infrastructure applications of composite materials, with focuses on innovative hybrid structures, strengthening of structures, and advanced nonlinear finite element analysis.

In particular, Prof Yu has developed a three-dimensional plastic-damage constitutive model, capable of providing accurate predictions of FRP-confined concrete in various column forms. The model, or part of the model, has been widely adopted by other researchers in their studies on confined concrete.

As well as his academic contributions, his research has impacted significantly on practical design guidance, with his research outcomes on two types of FRP-concrete-steel hybrid structural members being largely adopted by the relevant Chinese national standard.

Explore Professor Tao Yu's research profile on UOW Scholars