Biography

Yu Sun is a Professor in the Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and is jointly appointed in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto (UofT). He is a McLean Senior Faculty Fellow at UofT, and the Canada Research Chair in Micro and Nano Engineering Systems. As the Faculty Director, Sun directed the University Nanofabrication Centre during 01/2012-12/2013. The Center hosts ~50 million dollar equipment and has a group of technical and administrative staff, providing open access to UofT users from across faculties and to external users from both academia and industry.

Sun joined UofT in July 2004 and was promoted through the ranks of associate professor and full professor in 2009 and 2012. In 2014, he was elected into the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE). In 1996, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree from Dalian University of Technology that awarded him an Alumni Achievement Award in 2015. He obtained an M.S. degree from the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing) in 1999. Sun was on the intercollegiate basketball team (1992-1994) at Dalian University of Technology. While Sun was in Beijing, he was among the 18 professional TOEFL and GRE lecturers at the Beijing New Oriental School (1998-1999). In 2001, Sun received an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Univ. of Minnesota in 2003, under Prof. Bradley J. Nelson. Prior to joining the faculty of Toronto in July 2004, Sun did his postdoctoral research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zürich).

Sun established in 2004 and directs the Advanced Micro and Nanosystems Laboratory at UofT. Leveraging his experience in micro-nanorobotics and cleanroom micro-nanofabrication, his team has strong expertise in (1) developing fundamental micro-nanomanipulation techniques and intelligent micro-nanorobotic systems; (2) designing novel micro-nano devices and developing new micro-nanofabrication processes. The research group manipulates, characterizes, and senses biological cells, biomolecules, and nanomaterials for both fundamental studies (e.g., molecule screen and genetics) and clinical/industrial applications (IVF, rare cell isolation, blood cell testing, and precision instrumentation for industrial automation).

Awards and Honors:

  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2016
  • UofT’s Connaught Innovation Award, 2016
  • Alumni Achievement Award, Dalian University of Technology, 2015
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2015
  • MIE Teaching Award, University of Toronto, 2014
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), 2014
  • UofT’s Connaught Innovation Award, 2014
  • NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (the fellowship was awarded to 6 researchers selected from across all fields of natural sciences and engineering, across Canada), 2013
  • Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2013
  • Fellow, Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), 2013
  • UofT’s Connaught Innovation Award, 2013
  • UofT’s Connaught Innovation Award, 2012
  • UofT’s Inventor of the Year Award (First Prize), 2011
  • UofT’s Connaught Innovation Award, 2011
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Academic Early Career Award “for contributions to enabling microrobotic and MEMS technologies for automated cell manipulation and characterization in cell biology and clinical applications”, 2010
  • UofT’s McLean Award (one throughout the university), 2009
  • First Prize for Technical Achievement by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), 2009 
  • Ontario MRI Innovations Award, 2008
  • Ontario Premier’s Early Researcher Award, 2006
  • Univ. of Minnesota Best Dissertation finalist, 2003
  • Univ. of Minnesota Dissertation Fellowship (one of the two fellowships awarded to the ME department), 2002
  • Elite Fellowship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1999
  • Best Paper Award from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1998
  • Top Ten University Student Award in Liaoning Province (highest provincial honor), 1996 
  • Fellowship to visit Hiroshima University in Japan, 1995 

Best Paper Awards:

  • Best Paper in Robotics Award at the IEEE International Conference on Information and Automation (ICIA2016)
  • CBS (Canadian Biomaterials Society) Best Abstract Award, 2016
  • Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE 2014 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2014)
  • Best Automation Paper Award at the IEEE 2011 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA2011)
  • Best Application Paper Award at the 2011 International Conference on Manipulation, Manufacturing, and Measurements on the Nano Scale (3M-Nano2011)
  • Best Paper Award in Clinical Research at the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS’09) 2009 Annual Conference
  • Best Conference Paper Award at the IEEE 2007 International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE2007)
  • Best paper finalists
    • IEEE ICRA2014 Best Medical Robotics Award
    • IEEE ICRA2014 Best Manipulation Paper Award
    • IEEE ICRA2010 Best Manipulation Paper Award
    • IEEE IROS2006 Best Conference Paper Award
    • IEEE IROS2005 Best Conference Paper Award
    • IEEE ICMA2006 Best Student Paper Award 
    • IEEE ICRA2007 Best Student Paper Award

Professional Activities:

  • Editorship:
    • Senior Editor, IEEE Trans. Automation Science and Engineering, 2013 – present
    • Senior Editor, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2015 – present
    • Editorial board member, Scientific Reports (a Nature sponsored journal), 2015 – present
    • Editorial board member, Microsystems & Nanoengineering (a Nature sponsored journal), 2014 – present
    • Editorial board member, IoP J. Micromechanics Microengineering, 2013 – present
    • Editorial board member, IET Micro & Nano Letters, 2010 – 2014
    • Editor for IEEE International Conf. on Robotics and Automation (IEEE ICRA’2013-2015)
    • Associate Editor, IEEE Trans. Robotics, 2010 – 2013
    • Technical Editor, IEEE Trans. Mechatronics, 2009 – 2013
    • Associate Editor, IEEE Trans. Automation Science and Engineering, 2007 – 2013
  • Licensed Professional Engineer (PEng)
  • Fellow, IEEE
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE)
  • Fellow, Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC)
  • Fellow, ASME
  • Fellow, CSME
  • Fellow, AAAS
  • Program chair for the 2010 IEEE Int. Conf. on Automation Science and Engineering
  • Member on the Executive Program Sub-Committee for the 2011 International Conf. on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators and Microsystems (Transducers’2011)
  • Member of the Technical Program Committee for the IEEE International Conf. on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (IEEE MEMS’2013 and IEEE MEMS’2014)
  • Organizing committee member and/or associate editor for ~15 international conferences
  • Grant reviewer for ~12 U.S., Canadian, Asian, and European funding agencies
  • Paper reviewer for ~twenty-five international journals (e.g., Science, Nature, PNAS, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters, ACS Nano, PLoS ONE, Nanotechnology, Lab Chip, Langmuir, Applied Physics Letters, J. of MEMS, J. of Micromechanics and Microengineering, and a number of IEEE Transactions)