YU Liya E.

Associate Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Postal Address: Department of Civil and
  Environmental Engineering,
  National University of Singapore
  1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A 07-03
  Singapore 117576
Tel: (65) 6516 6474
Email: liya.yu@nus.edu.sg
Office: E1-05-11


Dr. Yu's teaching and research interests focus on air quality and aerosol sciences, with emphasis on characterization of aerosols emitting from combustion sources, and behavior of oxygenated organic compounds in atmospheric particulates, in particular, processes of photooxidation and chemical transformation of dicarboxylic acids. Dr. Yu's research group also strives to better understand impacts of transboundary biomass burning smoke on urban atmospheric environment.

In collaboration with Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS, Dr. Yu expands her research interests to explore potential health effects of engineered nanomaterials. Dr. Yu also works with a multi-disciplinary team at NUS to examine potential impacts of engineered nanomaterials on environment and biological systems.


  • Ph.D. (Civil Env. Eng.) Stanford, USA, 1997
  • M.Sc. (Civil Env. Eng.) Stanford, USA, 1990

Honours & Awards

  • Teaching Commendation Award, NUS (2006-2007)
  • Teaching Commendation Award, NUS (2005-2006)
  • Teaching Commendation Award, NUS (2001-2002)
  • Teaching Commendation Award, NUS (2000-2001)

Professional Activities

  • Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA)
  • American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • Environmental Engineering Society of Singapore

Teaching Areas

  • Air pollution and air quality management
  • Atmospheric chemistry and physics
  • Aerosol science & technology
  • Fundamentals in Environmental Protection

Research Interests

  • Air quality and combustion aerosols
  • Photochemical transformation of atmospheric particulates
  • Characterization of organic aerosols
  • Health effects of engineered nanoparticles

Selected Publications

  1. Yang LM, Nguyen DM, Jia SG, Reid JS, Yu LE. “Impacts of biomass burning smoke on the distributions and concentrations of C2–C5 dicarboxylic acids and dicarboxylates in a tropical urban environment”, Atmos. Environ. in press (2013).
  2. Balasubramanian SK, Poh KW, Ong CN, Kreyling WG, Ong WY, Yu LE. “The effect of primary particle size on biodistribution of inhaled gold nano-agglomerates”, Biomaterials, 34:5439-5452 (2013).
  3. Salinas SV, Chew BN, Miettinen J, Campbell JR, Welton EJ, Reid JS, Yu LE, Liew SC. “Physical and optical characteristics of the October 2010 haze event over Singapore: A photometric and lidar analysis”, Atmos. Res. 122:555–570 (2013).
  4. Chew WS, Poh KW, Siddiqi NJ, Alhomida AS, Yu LE, Ong WY. “Short- and long-term changes in blood miRNA levels after nanogold injection in rats-potential biomarkers of nanoparticle exposure”, Biomarkers 17:750–757(2012).
  5. Stone EA, Yang LM, Yu LE, Rupakheti M. “Characterization of organosulfates in atmospheric aerosols at four Asian locations”, Atmos. Environ. 47:323–329 (2012).
  6. Sng GKJ, Koh KSD, Yu LE, Gunaratnam S. “Current surveillance plan for persons handling nanomaterials in the National University of Singapore”, J. Occup. Environ. Med., 53:S25–S27 (2011).
  7. Balasubramanian SK, Yang LM, Yung LYL, Ong CN, Ong WY, Yu LE. “Characterization, purification, and stability of gold nanoparticles” Biomaterials, 31:9023–9030 (2010).
  8. Balasubramanian SK, Jittiwat, J, Manikandan J, Ong CN, Yu LE, Ong WY. “Biodistribution of gold nanoparticles and gene expression changes in the liver and spleen after intravenous administration in rats” Biomaterials, 31:2034–2042 (2010).
  9. Lim JH, Lim C, Yu LE. “Composition and size distribution of metals in diesel exhaust particulates”, J. Environ. Monit., 11:1614–1621 (2009).
  10. Sun W, Yang LM, Yu LE, Saeys M. “Ab initio reaction path analysis for the initial hydrogen abstraction from organic acids by hydroxyl radicals”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 113:7852–7860 (2009).
  11. Yang LM, Yu LE, Ray MB. “Photocatalytic oxidation of paracetamol: dominant reactants, intermediates, and reaction mechanisms”, Environ. Sci. Technol., 43:460–465 (2009).
  12. Yang LM, Yu LE. “Measurements of oxalic acid, oxalates, malonic acid and malonates in atmospheric particulates”, Environ. Sci. Technol., 42:9268–9275 (2008).
  13. Lim JH, Yu LE, Kostetski Yuri, Lim C, Ryu J, Kim J. “Effects of driving conditions on diesel exhaust particulates”, J. Air & Waste Manage. Assoc., 58:1077–1085 (2008).
  14. Gao Y, Yu LE, Chen SB. “Effects of organics on efflorescence relative humidity of ammonium Sulfate and sodium chloride particles”, Atmos. Environ., 42:4433–4445 (2008).
  15. Yang LM, Ray MB, Yu LE. “Photooxidation of dicarboxylic acids. Part I: Effects of inorganic ions on degradation of azelaic acid”, Atmos. Environ., 42:856–867 (2008).
  16. Yang LM, Ray MB, Yu LE. “Photooxidation of dicarboxylic acids. Part II: Kinetics, intermediates, and field observations”, Atmos. Environ., 42:868–880 (2008).
  17. Yu LE, Yung LYL, Ong CN, Tan YL, Balasubramanian SK, Hartono D, Shui G, Wenk MR, Ong WY. “Translocation and effects of gold nanoparticles after inhalation exposure in rats”, Nanotoxicology, 1:235–242 (2007).
  18. Gao Y, Yu LE, Chen SB. “Efflorescence relative humidity of mixed sodium chloride and sodium sulfate particles”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 111:10660–10666 (2007).
  19. Yang LM, Lim J, Yu LE. “Effects of acid-washing filter treatment on quantification of aerosol organic compounds”, Atmos. Environ., 41:3729–3739 (2007).
  20. Gao Y, Yu LE, Chen SB. “Theoretical investigation of substrate effect on deliquescence relative humidity of NaCl particles”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 111: 633–639 (2007).
  21. Gao Y, Chen SB, Yu LE. “Efflorescence relative humidity for airborne sodium chloride particles: A theoretical investigation”, Atmos. Environ., 41:2019–2023, (2007).
  22. Gao Y, Chen SB, Yu LE. “Efflorescence relative humidity for ammonium sulfate particles”, J. Phys. Chem. A, 110:7602–7608 (2006).
  23. Yu LE, Shulman ML, Kopperud R, Hildemann LM. “Fine organic aerosols collected in a humid, rural location (Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, U.S.A.): Chemical and temporal characteristics,” Atmos. Environ., 39:6037–6050 (2005).
  24. Yu LE, Shulman ML, Kopperud R, Hildemann LM. “Characterization of organic compounds Collected during southeastern aerosol and visibility study: Water-soluble organic species,” Environ. Sci. Technol., 39:707–715 (2005).

Last Updated on 29 May 2012 by Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering