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1975 …2015

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Personal profile


Prof. MAI Yiu Wing is Distinguished Chair Professor of Composites Science and Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was previously University Chair (2004-23) and Personal Chair (1987-2023) in Mechanical Engineering in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Sydney. He was Associate Dean - R&D (1990-93, 1995-98) and Pro-Dean (1998-2004) of Engineering, and the Founding Director of the Centre for Advanced Materials Technology (1989-2010). He was also the Director of the Sydney University Graduate School of Engineering (1995-98), the first of its kind in Australia. In 2010, Prof. Mai was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to engineering, particularly in the fields of advanced fibre composites and fracture research. And in 2013, he was conferred a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) degree by The University of Hong Kong in recognition of his contributions to scientific research and society.

Prof. Mai was elected to the fellowships of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of London, the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering, the European Academy of Sciences and the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences.

Prof. Mai’s major research interests are in the fields of fracture mechanics and advanced engineering materials, particularly composites. In these fields, he had won some of the most prestigious research medals in the US, UK and Australia. These include: in 2023, the Warner T Koiter Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Silver Medal of Materials Australia; in 2016, the AA Griffith Medal & Prize of the UK Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining and the AGM Michell Medal of the Mechanical College, Engineers Australia; and in 2015, the Scala Award of the International Committee on Composites Materials. In 2022, Prof. Mai was ranked 1st in Australia and 10th in the world in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering by

Professor Mai's research results have made substantial translational impacts to industry and influenced engineering practice. Some successful examples are: (a) development of asbestos-free fibre cements based on cellulose fibres for building products (James Hardie Industries); (b) super-hard layered nanocomposites coatings on moulds & dies for wear resistance, and machining tools for green manufacturing (Hong Kong Moulds & Dies industries and General Motors, USA); and (c) improved composites manufacturing processes, such as pultrusion, thermoforming, and stitching/z-pinning (Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures, Australia). More importantly, his basic research on the essential work of fracture concept has directly led to an ISO International Standard (ISO 23524:2022 Plastics — Determination of fracture toughness of films and thin sheets Essential work of fracture (EWF) method).

At the University of Sydney, Prof. Mai supervised/co-supervised 58 PhD students to completion, and he also advised over 60 postdocs, research fellows and visiting academics. Many of them are now successful leaders in their chosen fields in academia, industry and business. 

Research interests

Advanced composite materials; Fracture and fatigue; Engineering mechanics; Polymers and blends; Cementitious composites; Thin films and coatings; Tribology; Energy materials

Education/Academic qualification

BSc(Eng), PhD, DSc, HonDSc, DEng


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