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Personal profile


Richard (YongQing) Fu is a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK. He obtained his PhD degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and then worked as a Research Fellow in Singapore-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance, and a Research Associate in University of Cambridge. He was a lecturer in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, and then a Reader in Thin Film Centre in University of West of Scotland, Glasgow, UK, before moving to Newcastle, UK in March 2015.

He has extensive experience in smart thin films/materials, biomedical microdevices, energy materials, lab-on-chip, micromechanics, MEMS, nanotechnology, sensors and microfluidics. He has established a worldwide reputation from his pioneer research work on shape memory films, piezoelectric thin films, nanostructured composite/films for MEMS, sensors/ actuators, and renewable energy applications.

His research has been funded by Engineering and Physics Science Research Council (EPSRC), Royal Society, Royal Academy of Engineering, Carnegie Trust, UK Fluidic Network, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scottish Government, Scottish Union Physics Alliance (SUPA), Innovate UK/Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), AWE-UK, Scottish Sensor System Centre/CENSIS, Scottish Funding Council, and National Science Foundation of China.

He published over 400 science citation index (SCI) journal papers (including Progress in Materials Science, Nature Comm., Mater Horizons, ACS Nano, Nano Energy, Nano Lett., Adv. Electro. Mater., Chem. Mater., J Mater Chem A, Advanced Drug Delivery Review, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews), two books, 20 book chapters, and over 120 conference papers. His current SCI H-index is 56 with over 13 K citations, and his Google scholar H-index is 64 with over 17K citations (up to June 2021).

Being the principle supervisors, he has eight PhD students successfully graduated in UK universities. He is associate editors/editorial board members for seven international journals including Scientific Report. He is regular journal paper reviewers for more than 40 journals, has co-organized 15 international conferences worldwide, and co-edited six special issues for different journals.

Research interests

  • Smart thin films for sensing (gas, environment and biosensor), MEMS, biomedical microdevices, and microactuators;
  • Piezoelectric films/coatings for acoustic waves for microfluidics, sensors, and lab-on-chips
  • Shape memory and piezoelectric materials and films; shape memory polymer nanocomposites and microactuators for MEMS and microsurgery applications. 
  • Thin films, nanomaterials and nanotechnology for energy (solar cell, battery, thermoelectric, and supercapacitor) applications;
  • Smart coatings for precision engineering (hard coating and nanocomposite coating, wear/friction/corrosion);

Further Information

Research Funding

  • Principle investigator: CAV Ice Protection LTD: an industry funded project on “Surface acoustic wave Technology on Deicing of aircraft wings”. ~£12K. May 2021 to Oct 2022.
  • Co-investigator: on “Modelling of integration of passive hydrophobic coating and active thin film Surface acoustic wave platform for effective bio-film removal”, £20k, June 2021-December 2021, EPSRC NetworkPlus in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing.
  • Principle investigator: Royal Society International Exchange grant with NSFC Newton Mobility Grant (IEC/NSFC/201078), “Highly efficient and active Ice protection strategy through integration of thin film acoustic waves and biomimetic surfaces”, £11,920. 2021-2023.
  • Principle investigator: EPSRC Research Grant on “Thin Film Acoustic Wave Platform for Conformable and Mechanically Flexible Biosensors”, EP/P018998/1, £346,416, Northumbria University as leading Institute, 2017-2021. 
  • Principle investigator: PhD Studentship in EPSRC Doctor Training Centre on ReNU (Renewable Engineering Northeast University), No. 2430814, Hybrid piezoelectric films and smart icephobic coatings with acoustic wave strategies for active ice protection, Oct 2020 - Sep 2024.
  • Co-investigator: Knowledge Transfer Partnership, “Development of a test device for monitoring patient drug levels”, Industry Funding with Hart Biologicals Ltd, £196,245, 2020-2023, Innovate UK, Knowledge transfer Partnership No KTP010845.
  • Principle investigator: Knowledge Transfer Partnership, “IMPEL”-Innovative microsystem for medical practioner and point-of- care, Industry Funding with Epigem Ltd, £147,141. 2017-2019, Innovate UK, Knowledge transfer Partnership No KTP010548.
  • Principle investigator: with China, Newton Mobility Grant (IE161019) International Exchange grant through  Royal Society and NSFC, “Microfluidic nano-bio-chip for rapid and precision cancer diagnostics”, £11,960. 2017-2019.
  • Co-investigator, CO2Chem Seedcorn Grant, Mass transport and selectivity for CO2 electrochemical reduction reaction using graphene aerogel electrode, 2018-2019, £11,000.
  • Principle investigator, Research Grant for Special Interests Group Grant – SIG-Acoustofluidics, UK Fluids Network (UKFN) through EPSRC EP/N032861/1, £17,500, 2017-2020.
  • International Co-Investigator-External Collaborator, Graphene field effect transistor protein biosensors for lung cancer detection, Chinese National Science and Technology Foundation 21373068, with Harbin Institute of Technology, CNY 850 K, 2014-2017.
  • Principle Iinvestigator,Superhard Nanocomposite Shape memory thin films, Royal Academy of Engineering-- Research Exchanges with China and India Scheme, £17,500,2014-2016.
  • Principle investigator, “International Exchange Award” from Royal Society of Edinburgh to collaborate with researchers from Taiwan (Prof. Chuang in national Chengkung University, Taiwan), 2013-2015, total: ~£12,000.
  • Principle investigator, Novel gas sensing platform based on nanostructured semiconductor materials, Scottish Sensor System Centre (S3C),£10,100, 2012-2013
  • Principle investigator, Integrated lab-chip system for biosensing based on thin film acoustic wave technology, Carnegie Trust Funding, UK, £40,050, 2011-2013.
  • Co-Investigator, Smart Micosystem, IeMRC/EPSRC (Engineering and Physics Science Research Council), UK, £1.5 Million in total, 2010-2013.
  • Principle investigator, Potential Application of AlN Thin Film based Lab-on-chip, China-Scotland Higher Education Partnership with Harbin Institute of Technology, China, £25,000. Scottish Government, 2010-2012.
  • Principle investigator, Thin Films based Microfluidic System, Research Grant, Royal Society, UK, £15,000, 2010-2012.
  • Principle investigator, Nanocomposite Shape memory polymer for microsurgery applications,Royal Academy of Engineering--Research Exchanges with China and India Scheme,£12,500,2010-2012.
  • Principle investigator, Modeling and splat morphology during thermal spray processes, Industry project with Atomic Weapon Enterprise (AWE), UK, £110,000, 2009-2011.
  • Principle investigator, Feasibility of integrating AlN film with a range of advanced digital microfluidic lab-on-chip technologies, Carnegie Trust Funding, UK, £39,500, 2009-2010.
  • Principle investigator, International Collaboration Award from Royal Society of Edinburgh. Visiting to China, £12,000, March 2008-2009.

Further Information

Selected top 10 Publications


Education/Academic qualification

Materials Science, PhD, Nanyang Technological University

5 Nov 199520 Mar 1999

Award Date: 30 Jun 1999


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