Contact Dr Zhugen Yang

Areas of expertise


Dr Zhugen Yang is UK NERC Fellow and Lecturer (US Assistant Professor) in Sensor Technology, heading sensors lab at Cranfield Water Science Institute (CWSI). The lab's mission is to explore the fundamental science and a wide range of application in water sector, environmental health and biomedical diagnosis. ( 

Dr Yang received a prestigious UK NERC Fellowship to start his independent academic career and established the Research Group of Sensors for Environment and Health. He was appointed as Lecturer at James Watt School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow before the group moved to Cranfield University.  He was a Marie Curie Fellow at The University of Bath after completing a Postdoc within the Department of Chemistry at The University of Cambridge. He earned his PhD in Micro and Nanotechnology from University of Lyon (Ecole Centrale) in France, MSc (SYSU) and BEng (HIT) in China. He held a visiting position at the Norwegian Institute of Water Research (NIVA) in Oslo, Norway. 

His research has been sponsored with nearly ~£1M from UK research council (NERC, BBSRC), Royal Academy of Engineering, Scottish Partnership of Research Funds, etc. The research outputs led to over 30 referred articles (including high ranking journal such as PNAS, ACS sensors, Anal Chem, ES&T, Water Res), one book on microarray technology, one patent, and over 50 conference presentations. 

Research opportunity

PhD Student, Postdoc and Visiting Fellow

The group has a constantly recruit talented PhD candidate in the areas of chemical, biological and microbial sensors, paper-microfluidics device, molecular diagnosis, water quality, environmental health, analytical chemistry, illicit drugs of abuse. Please contact Dr Yang  ( for discussion. 

Currently, the group has no openings for Postdoc but we are always welcome to support talented scientist to apply the third funding source (e.g., Leverulme Trust, Royal Commission 1851, UK Newton fellowship, EU Marie Curie) to explore exciting science.  Please contact Dr Yang.

Master and Placement

If you are interested for an inter or short-term project (no shorter than 3 months), please contact Dr Yang for discussion. ​

Current activities

Dr Yang is a multidisciplinary researcher, and his main research interests focus on low-cost, rapid and point-of-use sensors and devices for environmental science (e.g. microbial contamination in drinking water), public health (e.g. illicit drug of abuse), and biomedical diagnostics (e.g. infectious disease and cancer). 

Dr Yang has recently developed a low-cost paper-origami device for rapid diagnosis of infectious disease and tested in the field in India and for malaria in Uganda (Africa). He holds a prestigious UKRC independent research fellowship, which aims to develop easy-to-use paper-based device for the rapid monitoring of microbial contamination in drinking water, in collaboration with industry partner Scottish Water (NE/R013349/1, £508k).

He also co-leads a BBSRC/NERC project (BB/S004335/1, £200k) focusing on the rapid diagnosis of infectious disease in agriculture (shellfish), in collaboration with UK Centre for Environment Fisheries Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).

He is working on the development of low-cost sensor for rapid monitoring of water quality in low and middle-income countries, sponsored by Royal Academy of Engineering (FoDSF\1819\1\8, £20k).

During his Marie Curie Fellow, he proposed unique concept of community sewage sensors and demonstrate for the practical analysis of illicit drugs (e.g.cocaine) in wastewater to understand the community-level drug consumption pattern. This enabled a rapid and cost-effective way to  monitor illicit drug use trends across Europe, in collaboration with EU SEWPROF and COST Action.


NERC , BBSRC, Royal Academy of Engineering, Scottish Partnership of Research Funds, Scottish Water


Articles In Journals