Accepting PhD Students

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1988 …2021
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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Professor Yun Li is currently with Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. He received his BSc from Sichuan University, China, MEng from University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), PhD from University of Strathclyde, and CBA from Adam Smith Business School of University of Glasgow. Following a period with UK National Engineering Laboratory as consultant engineer in 1989 and with Industrial Systems and Control Ltd as postdoctoral research engineer in 1990, he joined University of Glasgow as Lecturer in 1991, where later he served as Professor and Founding Director of University of Glasgow Singapore and Founding Director of University of Glasgow’s Joint Education Programme with UESTC. In March 2018, he moved to University of Strathclyde to deepen research into artificial intelligence (AI) for Industry 4.0 in Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management, and work as overseas Distinguished Professor at Dongguan University of Technology located in China’s manufacturing hub.

Research Interests

Prof Li’s research has mainly been concerned with transforming the simulation-based passive Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to the AI-enabled pro-active Computer-Automated Design (CAutoD), machine learning and “machine inventing”, especially for the dawning "Industry 4.0".  With data-driven prospects of computation akin to the human being, CAutoD offers intelligent search, learning and automation functionalities as services for optimal design, virtual prototyping and cyber-physical integration, applicable to electronic, electrical, mechanical, control, manufacturing, and biomedical engineering, operations management, financial and economic system modelling and optimisation. He developed one of the world’s first 30 evolutionary and neural computing courses in 1995 and its online interactive genetic algorithm (GA) courseware GA_demo, demonstrating also the working mechanism of CAutoD. He served on the Management Board of the European Network of Excellence in Evolutionary Computation (EvoNet), and established both the EvoNet Workgroup on Systems, Control, and Drives for Industry and the IEEE Computer-Aided Control System Design Evolutionary Computation Working Group. 

Prof Li was General Chair of the EPSRC funded Industrial Systems in the Digital Age conference, “Looking Beyond Industry 4.0”, held in Glasgow in 2017. He is an Associate Editor of IEEE Trans Evolutionary Computation and of IEEE Trans Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence, and a Guest Editor of Smart Design, Smart Manufacture and Industry 4.0 Special Issue for Energies.  He has over 260 publications, among which one is noted the most popular in IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology every month and another most cited in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part B.  More publications may be downloaded from: or

Prof Li currently offers the following PhD projects:

  • CAutoD and computational intelligence for engineering design, virtual prototyping, manufacture and engineering management;
  • Evolving dynamic system models from big data for ‘data-led discovery’ and IoT for predictive design and prototyping;
  • Model-free predictive control for engineering systems, operations and supply chain management, financial systems and investments;
  • High-speed computational intelligence algorithms for search, optimization, and invention;
  • Applications of artificial intelligence and systems engineering.

PhD is about making an original contribution to knowledge in your area of research, with evidence of systematic study and independent, critical and original thinking, sustained by academic rigour and significance.  我们将为双一流高校本科毕业生和研究生提供直接攻读博士学位的奖学金,其他优秀硕士生也欢迎申请。此外,也给企业优秀员工提供机会,直接在所属单位远程攻读思克莱德大学“工业博士”学位(企业需批准脱产三年和资助学费九千英镑x三年)。学科详情请见:


Prof Li’s past PhD students include:

  • Professor Kay Chen Tan, City University of Hong Kong (FIEEE and Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, past EiC of IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine)
  • Professor Cindy Goh, Director of University of Glasgow Singapore
  • Dr. Lipton Chan, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley (Shanghai)
  • Dr. Jin Yin, Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Beijing)

Industrial Relevance

R&D in artificial intelligence, evolutionary computation, optimisation, modelling and control for design, manufacture, engineering management and service, and Industry 4.0

Expertise & Capabilities

Artificial Intelligence; Evolutionary Computation; Optimisation, modelling and control for intelligent design, manufacture, engineering management and service; Industry 4.0.

Transnational Education, High Education management

Teaching Interests

In 1995, Yun Li developed one of the world's first 30 evolutionary and neural computing courses and, in 1997, the online interactive courseware GA_demo for this course and computer-automated design (CAutoD). 

Ha has an interest in teaching in artificial intelligence, evolutionary computation, optimisation, modelling, and control for intelligent design, smart manufacture, engineering management and services, and for Industry 4.0.

Academic / Professional qualifications


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University Of Strathclyde

Bachelor of Science, Sichuan University

Master of Engineering, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

External positions

Overseas Distinguished Professor, Dongguan University of Technology

Visiting Professor, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Industry 4.0
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Optimization
  • Modelling and Control

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Yun Li is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Evolutionary algorithms Engineering & Materials Science
Genetic algorithms Engineering & Materials Science
Particle swarm optimization (PSO) Engineering & Materials Science
Ant colony optimization Engineering & Materials Science
Control systems Engineering & Materials Science
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Systems analysis Engineering & Materials Science
Scheduling Engineering & Materials Science

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2013 2021

Research Output 1988 2019

Benchmarks for evaluating optimization algorithms and benchmarking MATLAB derivative-free optimizers for practitioners' rapid access

Li, L., Saldivar, A. A. F., Bai, Y., Chen, Y., Liu, Q. & Li, Y., 14 Jun 2019, In : IEEE Access. 7, p. 79657 - 79670 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Genetic algorithms
Heuristic algorithms

Long-term routing stability of wireless sensor networks in a real-world environment

Lim, C. L., Goh, C. & Li, Y., 31 May 2019, In : IEEE Access. 7, p. 74351-74360 10 p., 8727530.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Wireless sensor networks
Routing protocols
Switching frequency
Energy utilization


Control system analysis
Three term control systems
Control systems