In 2022, Yu joined ORNL to lead the Advanced Nuclear Materials group, which seeks to understand how damage affects the properties and performance of structural materials and components for fission and fusion reactors and other extreme environments.

Before coming to ORNL, Yu served as chief engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for two years and, prior, senior scientist for 14 years. A pioneer of many chemical and atmospheric discoveries, she won a 2014 R&D 100 award and Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer award for a vacuum-based analytical instrument for molecular imaging of liquid surfaces and interfaces in native and working environments.

Yu has worked as an associate professor at Colorado State University and postdoctoral fellow at CSU and Brookhaven National Laboratory. The daughter of two chemists, she lived in China until starting graduate school at the University of Michigan, where she earned her doctorate in physical chemistry in 2001.

She holds three patents; another eight are pending. An award-winning mentor, she has authored four books, three book chapters and more than 120 peer-reviewed papers. She is a member of the American Vacuum Society, American Chemical Society, American Nuclear Society and ASTM International (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) for which she helps set standards for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals.”

source: Dawn Levy, ORNL