Yuguo Li

by Tess Jansen


Yuguo Li is a PhD, professor, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Honorary Professor of the School of Public Health, the University of Hong Kong. He is a respected lecturer and frequently cited scholar with an enormous record of accomplishments.

Who is he?

He is an active expert of the WHO COVID-19 IPC guidance development group and a member of the Environment and Engineering Control Expert Advisory Panel (ECAP) for COVID-19.

Yuguo Li citations

Yuguo Li profile on Google Scholar


His work has gained the support of WHO, Boeing, and Microsoft.

His recommendations are endorsed by the New York Times readers.

Follow this link to read through his list of publications: Yuguo Li.

What does he do?

The sphere of research interests of Yuguo Li comprises the interaction of atmospheric environment and fluid mechanics with particular attention to ventilation (environment aerodynamics).

He studies by himself and teaches others the ways of how atmospheric environment and fluid mechanics affect each other

 He also explains the physics of ventilation and wind flows, which is essential to gain an insight into the processes of natural ventilation, air transmission of viruses, and improvement of ventilation in smoggy Hong Kong.

Yuguo Li claims that ventilation and wind flow patterns are critical for the modern technogenic environment and air quality within such an environment.

Heat transfer and pollutant dispersion through air constitute fundamental importance for life quality.

The absence of necessary wind flows will result in environmental disasters, pollution, smog, epidemics, or radiation. 

His findings proved the role of ventilation in the 2003 SARS outbreak among the residents of Amoy Gardens.

He conducted research to prepare WHO and hospital administration for the influenza epidemic and contributed to modernizing ventilation systems in hospitals.

Yuguo Li and his team studied the ways of airborne transmission of infectious agents and the action range of influenza, coronaviruses (SARS, MERS), and noroviruses.

They defined such terms as short-range airborne transmission, surface touch network, touch transmission of particles, and urban ventilation.

As a result, the impact of airflow and ventilation on the outbreak of SARS in 2003 and SARS-CoV-2 in 2020 was determined.

The professor researches the ways how air flows within full scales of natural and artificial spaces, moving from lungs to rooms, buildings, and a city, and also focuses on the transfer of heat and moisture, and transmission of aerosols that affect the lives and comfort of people. 

Yuguo Li is an active consultant to the industry and government.

Apart from scientific contributions to the World Health Organization, he also assists the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in the strategic development of rural home energy efficiency and the future of Chinese kangs. 

Based on the idea that animal size depends on the size of their lungs, the professor insists that ventilation of a city is also determined by the level of air penetration into it.  

In addition, Yuguo Li runs public awareness campaigns.

For example, he tells the New York Times readers how to hug safely during the pandemic.

“The risk of viral exposure may be highest at the start of the hug, when two people approach each other and could breathe on each other, and at the end, when they pull apart. Wearing a mask is important, as is hand washing, because there’s a low risk of picking up the virus from another person’s hands, skin or clothes.”


  1. 1982 — B.S. in Refrigeration Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China.
  2. 1986-1988 — M.Sc. Course in Thermal Engineering (Air conditioning) (defended in May 1989), Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
  3. 1988-1990 — Tech. Licentiate in Heating and Ventilation, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 1990 — Thermal Engineering Course, Tsinghua University, China.
  5. 1990 — Tech. Licentiate in Heating and Ventilation, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
  6. 1992 — PhD in Fluid Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
  7. 2015 — Honorary Doctor Degree, Aalborg University, Denmark.

Employment history

  • 1991-1992, Swedish Institute for Building Research, Sweden — Guest Researcher;
  • 1992-1993, National Institute of Occupational Health, Sweden — Researcher;
  • 1993-1994, CSIRO, Australia — Post-doc Scientist;
  • 1994-1997, CSIRO, Australia — Research Scientist;
  • 1997-2000, CSIRO, Australia — Senior Research Scientist;
  • 2000, CSIRO, Australia — Principal Research Scientist; 
  • 2000-2004 — Associate Professor (Lecturer), the University of Hong Kong;
  • 2005 — Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) (Tenured), the University of Hong Kong;
  • 2006 — Professor, the University of Hong Kong.

Yuguo Li is a chartered engineer with the UK Engineering Council.

He was also elected a fellow member of ASHRAE, ISIAQ, HKIE, and IMechE.

Besides, the professor was an editor of such journals as Indoor Air, Energy, and Houses, and an editorial board member of five other international journals.

Yuguo Li is a frequent speaker at conferences and an active member of scientific advisory committees specializing in various topics that range from ventilation and infections to urban energy efficiency, eco-friendliness, and Chinese kangs.

The scholar keeps on teaching and shares revolutionary discoveries and theories in his sphere with students around the globe.

Yuguo Li was an invited professor for lecturing at Shanghai Jiaotong University (1999-2001), Aalborg University (2002-2005), Hunan University (2003-2006), Dalian University of Technology (2004-2007), Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology (2007-2009), Technical University of Denmark (2008-2009), Central South University and Tianjin University (2007-2012). 


  1. Shanghai City Outstanding University Student Prize (1986).
  2. Tsinghua Innovation Second Prize for the invention of a breathing heat exchanger (1987).
  3. The Royal Institute of Technology PhD Scholarship (1990-1993).
  4. CSIRO Post-Doctoral Research Scholarship (1993).
  5. CSIRO Project Leadership program (1997).
  6. The University of Hong Kong Outstanding Young Researcher Award (2003).
  7. Research Award for Foreign Specialists, National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management, Japan (2005).
  8. Alumni Award of Shanghai Jiaotong University 50th Anniversary (2006).
  9. National Nature Science Foundation of China Grant (2007).
  10. Best Paper Award of Indoor Air Journal (2005-2007).
  11. State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (Second Prize) (2010).
  12. Rydberg Gold Medal from SCANVAC (2014).
  13. Inoue Memorial Award, SHASE, Japan (2016).

Contact details for Yuguo Li

Phone: [852] 2869 2625
Fax: [852] 2858 5415