Portrait of Professor Yong Yan

Professor Yong Yan

Professor of Electronic Instrumentation
Director of Innovation


Yong Yan joined the University of Kent in 2004 as a Professor of Electronic Instrumentation and the Head of Instrumentation and Control Research Group. He was School Director of Research from 2008 to 2018 and has been School Director of Innovation since 2018. He has published more than 500 papers in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings. His h-index is 48 with over 8400 citations. In recognition of his contributions to pulverised fuel flow metering and burner flame imaging he was named an IEEE Fellow in 2011 and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2020. He was awarded the Achievement Medal by the IEE in 2003, the Engineering Innovation Prize by the IET in 2006, Alec Hough-Grassby Award by the Institute of Measurement and Control in 2011, and the Best Paper Award in 2016 and the Best Application Award in 2017 both by the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society since 2012. He is a Council Member of International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Fuel and Energy Research Forum (FERF). He has been teaching electronic instrumentation and related modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for 29 years and has supervised 40 PhD students to successful completion. 

His main areas of expertise are in Sensors, Instrumentation, Measurement, Condition Monitoring, Digital Signal Processing, Digital Image Processing and Applications of Artificial Intelligence.

Research interests

  • Flow measurement and instrumentation
  • Combustion sensors and instrumentation
  • Condition monitoring of industrial systems and processes
  • Quality assessment of recycled materials  


Current Teaching Commitments

  • EENG8960 Computer and Microcontroller Architectures
  • EENG8750 Advanced Sensors and Instrumentation Systems
  • EENG8490 Research Methods and Project Design
  • EENG7910 Year in Industry (Industrial Performance Evaluation)
  • EENG7920 Year in Industry (Academic Performance Evaluation)
  • EENG6000 Final Year Project (project supervision and lecture on report writing)
  • EENG5650 Instrumentation and Measurement Systems
  • EENG5620 Engineering Group Project (Project Supervision and lectures on project management)
  • EENG3110 First-Year Engineering Applications Project (Project Supervision)
  • EENG3050 Introduction to Electronics

Previous Teaching Commitments

  • Research Methodology 
  • Digital Signal Processing 
  • Computer Simulation 
  • Systems Modelling 
  • Data Acquisition with Microcomputers 
  • Electrical Principles and Measurement


Professor Yong Yan has supervised 40 PhD students and 3 MPhil/MSc-R students to successful completion. 

PhD research topics

  • Automated Quality Assessment of Waste Plastic Bales
  • CO2 Flow Metering under CCS Conditions through Multi-Modal Sensing and Intelligent Data Fusion
  • Slurry Flow Measurement through Multi-modal Sensing and Machine Learning
  • Vibration Monitoring of Rotating Machinery Using Electrostatic Sensors 
  • Mass Flow Measurement and On-line Sizing of Pneumatically Conveyed Solids Through Acoustic and Triboelectric Sensing
  • Digital Imaging Based Characterisation of Biomass Particles in Power Generation
  • On-line Detection of Large Particles in Fine Dust In Pneumatic Conveying Pipelines Using Acoustic Sensors
  • Advanced Flame Monitoring through Digital Imaging
  • Monitoring of Particulate Emissions through Digital Imaging and Light Scattering
  • Contactless Temperature Measurement of Stored Biomass
  • Monitoring and Characterisation of Large Scale Industrial Fires


Academic Qualifications

  • BEng in Instrumentation and Control Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P R China
  • MSc in Instrumentation and Control, Tsinghua University, Beijing, P R China
  • PhD in Particle Flow Instrumentation, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK. 

Professional Qualifications

  • FREng    Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering  
  • FIEEE     Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
  • FIET       Fellow of the Institution of Engineering Technology
  • FInstP    Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • CEng      Chartered Engineer 
  • CPhys    Chartered Physicist

External Roles

  • Distinguished Lecturer, IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society  
  • Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
  • Editor of Measurement (Journal of the International Measurement Confederation, IMEKO)
  • Senior Associate Editor of Measurement: Sensors    
  • Member of Editorial Advisory Board of Flow Measurement and Instrumentation
  • Member of Editorial Board of Industrial Combustion Journal
  • Council Member of International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Fuel and Energy Research Forum (FERF)
  • Member of Technical Committee TC20 (Measurements of Energy & Related Quantities) of IMEKO
  • Member of the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Peer Review College
  • External examiner and assessor for research grant proposals, professorial candidates, PhD and MSc-R theses at institutions in China, India, Israel, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Sweden 
  • External examiner for PhD/MPhil degrees at Cardiff, City, Cranfield, Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian, Greenwich, Imperial College, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, South Wales, Surrey, Teesside and Westminster Universities

Prizes and Recognitions

  • 2021 'Outstanding' Grade of a completed KTP project entitled "Development of an instrumentation system for the smart condition monitoring of inflatable rubber dams", Innovate UK.
  • 2020 Gold Medal as the most published author of all time from the UK, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement.
  • 2020 'Outstanding' Grade of a completed KTP project entitled "Multiphase flow metering using Coriolis flowmeters and soft computing algorithms", Innovate UK.
  • 2017 Best Application Award, the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (I2MTC2017), Torino, Italy.
  • 2016 Excellent Teacher Award, University of Kent (Kent Union).
  • 2016  Best Paper Award (1st Place), IEEE International Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC2016), Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2012 Industrial Award (in the category of protecting the environment), the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, I2MTC2012, Graz, Austria.
  • 2011 Alec Hough-Grassby Award, the Institute of Measurement and Control, UK.
  • 2009 Rushlight Commendation Award (in the category of fossil fuels), UK.
  • 2007 National Award, Engineering Education Scheme, the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK.
  • 2006 Global Engineering Innovation Award (in the category of Power/Energy), the Institution of Engineering Technology, UK.
  • 2005 Finalist for the National Measurement Award (in the Innovative Measurement Category), DTI/TSB, UK.
  • 2003 Achievement Medal, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, UK.
  • 2002 Prize for the Best Poster Paper, The Combustion Institute (British Section).
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