Contact Dr Zhugen Yang

Areas of expertise

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biosensors & Diagnostics
  • Environment and Health
  • Food Safety
  • Instrumentation, Sensors and Measurement Science
  • Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
  • Water Science and Engineering


Dr Zhugen Yang was awarded a prestigious UK NERC Fellowship to start his independent academic career in 2018, leading a group on advanced sensors for water-environment-health nexus. He was appointed as a Lecturer at The University of Glasgow's James Watt School of Engineering, before relocating to Cranfield University in 2019. He completed a postdoc at the University of Cambridge and EU Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Bath, after he earned his PhD at the University of Lyon (Ecole Centrale, France),  MSc (SYSU) and BEng (HIT) in China.

His research has been sponsored with over £2.5M, from UKRI (EPSRC, NERC, BBSRC), Royal Academy of Engineering and industry, leading to over 50 referred articles (including PNASES&TWater Res, ACS Nano, AC, B&B, TrAC), several patents and a number of invited/keynote talks at international conference. He serves as editor of special issue for “TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry”(IF 9.8), and editor of the book on Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry (Elsevier). His work has been featured in Science magazine as well as media coverages including BBC (BBC News, Science Action), Washington Post, Yahoo, China Daily etc.

Research opportunities

Research students (PhD/MRes)

We currently have fully funded UK PhD students (UK/oversea) and Master by Research starting in 2020/2021. 

We are consistently recruited talented PhD candidates in the areas of chemical, biological and microbial sensors, microfluidics, paper-based devices, molecular diagnosis, water quality, environmental health, analytical chemistry and illicit drugs of abuse. Please contact Dr Yang for query. 

Postdoc and visiting fellows

Currently, the group has no openings for postdoc but we are always keen to support talented scientists in applying the third funding source (e.g. Leverulme Trust, Royal Commission 1851, UK Newton fellowship, EU Marie Curie) to explore exciting areas of scientific research.

Master's and placements

If you are interested for an inter or short-term project (no shorter than three months), please contact Dr Yang for further discussion. ​

Current activities

Dr Yang is currently heading the sensors lab at Cranfield Water Science Institute (CWSI). His multidisciplinary team " Advanced Sensors for Water-Environment-Health nexus",  focuses on the development of low-cost, rapid and point-of-use sensors and devices for environmental science (e.g. microbial contamination in drinking water), public health (e.g. infectious, illicit drugs), and biomedical diagnostics (e.g. infectious disease and cancer). 

He has recently developed a low-cost paper origami device for rapid diagnosis of infectious disease in India and field-tested malaria in Uganda, Africa. His Fellowship is developing lab-on-a-paper for and microbial source tracking and monitoring microbial contamination in drinking water. The device has been further developing for rapid and on-site testing of sewage for early warning COVID-19 within the population. This has been featured in Science magazine, and widely exposed at international media coverages. 

Current Project

  • UK NERC NPIF Innovation Fellowship,  (PI, 2018 – 2021, NE/R013349/1, £506,452); with Scottish Water
  • UK Royal Academy of Engineering, (PI, 2020 – 2023, FF\1920\1\36, £310,286); with Nigeria & Cameron;
  • UK NERC, National COVID-19 Wastewater Epidemiology Surveillance Programme (N-WESP, Co-I, 2020 – 2021, NE/V010441/1, £791,191).
  • Anglian Water (Rapid Covid sensors, PI, 2020-2021)
  • Industry partner (Automatic detection for sewage virus, PI, 2020-2021)
  • UK EPSRC DTP PhD studentship,  (Co-I, 2020-2023, £122,008), with Thames Water

Completed Project

  • UK BBSRC, (Co-I, 2018 – 2020, BB/S004335/1, £200,000); with Cefas, Cromarty Mussels Ltd.
  • UK Royal Academy of Engineering, (PI, 2018 – 2020, FoDSF\1819\1\8, £20,000); with Federal University Lafia
  • UK Royal Academy of Engineering, (Co-I, 2018 - 2019, FoEST1819\T6\4, £24,000); with Tran Hung Dao University Hospital, Vietnam;
  • UK Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (PI, 2018 – 2019, PECRE1819/05, £3,500); with SUSTech, China
  • EU Marie Curie Research Fellow, EU (2013- 2015), University of Bath, UK


NERC, EPSRC, BBSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering, Scottish Partnership of Research Funds, Scottish Water, Anglian Water and other industry


Articles In Journals