Press release

Congratulations from the Fraunhofer WKI: Professor Libo Yan is awarded the IIFC Distinguished Young Researcher Award 2021

Braunschweig /

The International Institute for FRP (fiber-reinforced polymer) in Construction (IIFC) has honored Professor Libo Yan, PhD, with the IIFC Distinguished Young Researcher Award 2021. The Senior Scientist at the Fraunhofer WKI has received the award for his contributions to the application of FRP composites to civil infrastructure, and especially for the promotion of natural FRP composites.

Professor Libo Yan produces flax fabric reinforced polymer composite - wood hybrid structure by means of the vacuum infusion process.
© Fraunhofer WKI
Professor Libo Yan, PhD, shown here conducting research at the ZELUBA®, has been awarded the IIFC Distinguished Young Researcher Award 2021.

Professor Dr.-Ing. Bohumil Kasal, Director of the Fraunhofer WKI, expressed his congratulations on this award: “We at the Fraunhofer WKI hold Professor Yan in high esteem as an expert in the field of construction with natural fibers. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft offers an ideal environment for the development of young researchers and we are proud of Professor Yan’s achievements. The award is well deserved.”  

Professor Libo Yan stated: “I am very happy to receive this award. This is an important milestone in my academic career. I will continue, with strong motivation, to perform research into sustainable bio-FRP composites in construction and other fields. It is important for me to emphasize that this award would not have been possible without the support and help of Professor Kasal and my colleagues in the ZELUBA® department at the Fraunhofer WKI and the Division of Organic and Wood-based Materials, Institute for Building Materials, Solid Construction and Fire Protection (iBMB) at the TU Braunschweig. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to them.”

Professor Libo Yan teaches at the Technische Universität Braunschweig as an adjunct professor at the Institute for Building Materials, Solid Construction and Fire Protection in the Division of Organic and Wood-based Materials. In addition to this function, Professor Yan develops new thematic fields at the Fraunhofer WKI as a Senior Scientist. His research focuses on hybrid structural and material systems, organic and inorganic building materials and wood-based materials, fiber- and textile-reinforced polymer and cement composites, impact strength and dynamic properties of structures, concrete recycling, and the durability of building materials and raw materials. Since 2018, he has been responsible for the junior research group at the Fraunhofer WKI and the TU Braunschweig and was recently appointed Head of Science for the specialist department “Center for Light and Environmentally-Friendly Structures ZELUBA®”.

Further information on Professor Libo Yan’s curriculum vitae can be found here:
Press release “Professor Libo Yan conducts research as Senior Scientist at the Fraunhofer WKI”, dated May 4, 2021

The Distinguished Young Researcher Award was introduced by the IIFC council in 2006 and is awarded by the IIFC Honours Committee. The jury of the IIFC Honours Committee consists of a group of internationally renowned scientists from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China and the United States. These scientists are two former IIFC presidents, the current IIFC president, and fellows from the Royal Society of Canada, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the IIFC, the American Concrete Institute (ACI), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  

The award is presented to an IIFC member who is not older than 40 years of age in the year in which the respective official IIFC CICE conference takes place and who stands out from his or her colleagues as a result of research contributions in the field of FRP composites for the construction sector. The award is presented every two years. Furthermore, in 2016, Professor Libo Yan was awarded the IIFC Best PhD Thesis Award in the global competition organized by the IIFC. The IIFC is the only international professional organization which addresses the utilization of fiber-reinforced composites in structural infrastructure. The IIFC was founded in 2003 and has members from science and industry from 34 countries across six continents. The mission of the IIFC is to promote the understanding and application of FRP composites in structural infrastructure in the service of the engineering profession and society.


Background of the Fraunhofer WKI

Sustainability through the utilization of renewable raw materials has formed the focus at the Fraunhofer WKI for 75 years. The institute, with locations in Braunschweig, Hanover and Wolfsburg, specializes in process engineering, natural-fiber composites, binders and coatings, wood and emission protection, quality assurance of wood products, material and product testing, recycling procedures and the utilization of organic building materials and wood in construction. Virtually all the procedures and materials resulting from the research activities are applied industrially.

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