I am a postdoctoral associate in the Ideation Lab. My research focuses on improving the design process of complex engineering systems, such as seawater desalination plants.

I use interviews with practitioners and conduct design experiments with human subjects to evaluate design strategies, and try to model human design strategies using cyber-physical processes such as optimization algorithms. In addition, I utilize numerical simulation and multi-disciplinary optimization (MDO) to study the effect of maintenance decisions on the design of large-scale engineering systems. My work advances the on-going paradigm shift in design research toward focusing on the human designer, and foster the development of computer-based design tools that amplify the strengths of the human designers while hide their weaknesses.

My Linkedin Profile: linkedin.com/in/inbyyu
My design portfolio: seelio.com/byyu


  • Yu, B. Y., "Human-centered approaches to system level design with applications to desalination". 2015, Ph.D. Thesis, Mechanical Engineering, MIT. [ pdf ]
  • Yu, B. Y., "Microfluidic large scale integration and its application to image based microflow cytometry". 2010, M.A.Sc. Thesis, Mechanical Engineering, University of Waterloo. [ link ]

Selected Publications

  • Yu, B. Y., Sharqawy, M., Zubair, S., Honda, T. and Yang, M. C., “Multi-disciplinary design optimization for large-scale reverse osmosis systems,” 2014 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences. [ pdf ]
  • Austin-Breneman, J., Yu, B. Y., and Yang, M. C., “Biased Information Passing Between Sub-systems Over Time in Complex System Design,” 2014 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences. [ pdf ]
  • Yu, B. Y., Honda, T., Zubair, S., Sharqawy, M., and Yang, M. C., "A Framework for System Design Optimization Based on Maintenance Scheduling with Prognostics and Health Management," ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences, Portland, OR, 2013. [ pdf ]
  • Yu, B. Y., Elbuken, C., Ren, C. L., Huissoon, J. P., "Image Processing and Classification Algorithm for Yeast Cell Morphology in a Microfluidic Chip", Journal of Biomedical Optics, 16 (2011), 066008. [ link ]

Conferences I have attended