The career achievement award is Australia’s highest honour in the field and is given by both the College of Electrical Engineering and the College of Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering of Engineers Australia.
Past recipients have included Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel and Alex Zelinsky, Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist.
Yu was awarded the prize for his innovative work on control systems, complex networks and smart grids.
Control systems are used to create, among other things, the propulsion and flight systems in airplanes and cruise control in cars. Yu has pioneered a new theory which makes controllers faster, more reliable and economical.
Yu has also solved a number of problems in complex networks that have unlocked intelligent control of large-scale engineering systems like power grids. He has also worked with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre to successfully develop the first automatic money laundering detection prototype system based on complex networks.
Smart grids are energy supply networks that use digital technologies to monitor and respond to changes in usage. Yu has developed a number of modelling and control strategies for the smart grid, including better detection of critical power lines for network security and an online sharing scheme for automatic power allocation across the grid.
The 2018 MA Sargent Medal also recognises Professor Yu’s, longstanding eminence in the field, exceptional and sustained management and leadership relating to electrical engineering, and sustained industry engagement.
In addition to undertaking research, Distinguished Professor Yu is also Associate Deputy Vice-Chancellor for research capability at RMIT, and President of IEEE Industrial Electronics Society for 2018-2019
The MA Sargent Medal is named in honour of Dr Michael Anthony (Mike) Sargent, an outstanding Australian electrical engineer.
Story: James Giggacher