Prof Yi Li

Professor and Chair of Textile Sci and Engineering

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Prof. and Dr. Henry, Yi LI

Professor and Chair of Textile Science and Engineering

Chairman, Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics

Department of Materials, School of Natural Sciences, The University of Manchester

Manchester M13 9PL, UK

Tel: +44 (0) 161 306 2676



Dr. Yi Li is a full professor and chair in Textile Science and Engineering in the Department of Materials, School of Natural Science, the University of Manchester. He is a Life Fellow of Royal Society of Art, Commerce and Manufacturing and International Biographical Association and Fellow of the Textile Institute, and adjunct professors of a number of universities in China and a member of several professional bodies. He is the Chairman of Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society and the Editor-in-Chief of “Journal of Fiber Bioengineering and Informatics”. By securing substantial research funding and obtaining support from government funding bodies and industry, he established the Textile Bioengineering Framework to conduct systematic research in textile thermal bioengineering, biomechanical engineering, sensory bioengineering and biomedical engineering, with significant research outputs in biomaterials, nano scale drug delivery systems, nano fiber based scaffolds and textile devices for tissue engineering and stents, smart materials and intelligent e-textile wearables, textile material functional testing and characterization, digital apparel and clothing functional design, textile ecological and carbon footprint and industry sustainability and strategic technology roadmap development, which has become an international platform of design and engineering textiles to promote industry-university cooperation and accelerate technology transfer.

He has supervised over 65 PhD students and more than 150 research personnel. He has over 600 scientific publications, including 451 SCI/CPCI papers and peer reviewed conference papers with 15783 citations and h-index of 65 and i10-index 265 as being recognized as an international leading expert in smart functional textiles. He is selected on the list of “Highly Cited Researcher” in 2013 by THOMSON REUTERS and 2022 global top 2% Scientists by Elsevier via Scopus.

He owns more than 80 patents, including 46 patents granted in China, USA and Australia and 28 IP properties transferred to industry. With over 130 invited keynote/plenary lectures in conferences, he has more than 53 awards on outstanding research papers, patent inventions and technology transfer. The inventions from his team have been successfully commercialized. For example, the “Moisture Management Tester” won outstanding innovation and technology transfer awards (2010, Hong Kong), and has been sold to more than 30 countries and developed as the national testing standards in USA and China. The Fabric Touch Tester (FTT) won gold award (2013, Geneva) and has been sold to many countries. The high performance sportswear designed and developed by his team has been successfully transferred to industry and utilized to support elite athletes in major sports competitions in the world, including 2008 Beijing Olympic Game and 2012 London Olympic Game. A number of patents in smart e-textiles have been successfully transferred to industry. The Anti-Heat Stress Clothing for Construction Workers won grand prize and gold medal (2016, Geneva), Hong Kong Contraction Industry Council Grand prize (2015), Charted Institute of Building (CIOB) International Innovation & Research Awards (UK, 2015), and has been transferred to Hong Kong Construction Industry and become a standard recommendation.

He has carried out extensive research in PPEs, including Nano Facemasks (Gold Medal, EUREKA 2005, Brussels) and Virus Stopper protective clothing (Silver Medal, Geneva, April 2006) against SARS in 2003, which have been transferred to industry. He is currently working closely with international academic and industrial partners to develop novel technologies and products for combating COVID19 pandemic, including the following topics: (1) Remote Diagnosis and Digital Surveillance System for combatting COVID-19 Pandemic; (2)Personal Protection and Epidemic Control of 2019-NCoV Outbreak; (3) Smart Multichannel Diagnosis System for Managing COVID-19 Pandemic; (4)  Novel high protective reusable facemasks and (5) High Performance Reusable Personal Protective Clothing.

External positions

Chairman of Board, Fashion Big Data Foundation

28 Feb 2021 → …

Deputy Council Chairman, International Digital Health and Intelligent Material Innovation Alliance

10 Jul 20209 Jul 2025

Dean (honorary) School of Textile Science and Engineering, Xian Polytechnic University

1 Oct 20171 Oct 2020

Convenor WG2 on e-textile Wearables, IEC TC124 Wearable Electronic Devices and Technologies

1 Sep 2017 → …

Expert and Committee Member, ISO/TC 38

1 Aug 2016 → …

Chairman, Textile Bioengineering and Informatics Society

1 Dec 20071 Dec 2022

Life Fellow , Royal Society of Art, Commerce and Manufacturing

8 Nov 20038 Nov 2050

Fellow , The Textile Institute

1 Aug 1996 → …

Areas of expertise

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms


  • Smart e-textile wearables, Biosensors, PPEs, Fashion big data, sustainability, traceability, carbon emissions, digital health

Education / academic qualifications

  • 1996 - Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration, Macquarie University (1994 - 1996)
  • 1988 - Doctor of Philosophy, Fiber Science and Clothing Physiology, University of Leeds (1985 - 1988)
  • 1985 - Master of Engineering North-West Institute of Textile Science and Technology (1982 - 1985)
  • 1982 - Bachelor of Engineering North-West Institute of Textile Science and Technology (1978 - 1982)

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