Dr. Miao Yu is a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and a RENEW Institute Professor of Empire Innovation with research interest in nanoporous materials for separation and catalysis.
Dr. Yu’s research interest is focused on rationally designing and preparing nanoporous materials/structures for precisely distinguishing molecules by size/shape differences, characterizing and understanding the nanostructures, and applying them for separations and for catalysis. His research group has made significant breakthrough and unique contribution on fabricating thin coatings and membranes and reported our work in top journals and won federal awards to support our work. As a pioneering work, his group reported the thinnest graphene oxide (GO) membranes for effective gas separation in 2012. In 2020, his group discovered a unique Na+-gated nanochannel that allows fast water permeation but blocks gas molecules (as small as H2) even under harsh condition (T>200 oC and P>30 bar); drastically increased CO2 conversion to methanol in CO2 hydrogeneration was achieved via fast water removal by Na+-gated nanochannels. Currently, his research projects are supported by NSF, NOE/NETL and DOE/ARPA-E on novel sorbents for CO2 capture from flue gas, scalable fabrication of functionalized GO membranes for CO2 capture, ultrathin, graphene-based membranes for gas and liquid separation, high purity H2 production from NH3 decomposition using a compact membrane reactor, and renewable fuel production using membrane reactor.
Dr. Yu was an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) from August 2017 to January 2021. He was an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina (USC) between 2012 and 2017. Before joining USC, he was an assistant research professor in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder) from 2010 to 2012. He obtained BS (1998) and MS (2002) degrees from Tianjin University, China. He earned his Ph.D. degree from CU-Boulder in 2007, and subsequently worked in the same department as a postdoctoral researcher from 2007 to 2010. Dr. Yu has published 67 peer-reviewed papers, with two in Science and others in Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, JACS, Nano Letters, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, ACS Catalysis, Chemical Communications, etc. He is the recipient of 2015 NSF Career Award.