Early Life & Education
Ying Lia Li earned a a first-class honours degree degree in Physics from Imperial College London. Her final year project titled 'Self regulating lasers' involved building solid-state diode-pumped solid-state laser systems from scratch. In the summer of 2010, she extended her final-year project into a Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program scheme and built an amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) source of near diffraction-limited quality; the source had a maximum power output 21 watts.
In between her undergraduate and graduate programs, Dr. Lia Li worked at the Advanced Technology Centre at BAE Systems working on R&D for optical fibers deployed in Eurofighter, MEMS pH sensors, and project management/bidding.
Since earning her doctorate's, Ying Lia Li has created a spin-out company enabling commercialization of whispering-gallery mode sensors. She has been exploring various sensor applications using whispering gallery mode resonances including biosensors, Structural health monitoring, and navigation. She successfully acquired a fixed-price contract with the UK's Ministry of Defence to explore applications of whispering gallery mode cavities.
In addition, Ying is also running the Women in Physics Group (WIPG) at University College London, which aims to support, inspire, and motivate female researchers and teaching staff in the field of physics. They are particularly interested in proactive ways to improve the uptake, retention, and treatment of women within the Physics department, as well as other STEM fields.
Awards & Accomplishments
Dr. Lia Li was invited to join the Nature/Entrepreneur First Innovation Forum. She was awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize fellowship in 2017 to develop her Ph.D. experiment as a micro-g accelerometer capable of measuring the change in Earth's gravitational field due to the motion of the moon.
In 2011, she gave a talk at Ignite Bristol entitled, "Stop Asking for a Lightsaber."[+]
On March 4, 2018, Lia Li presented at the Gordons Research Seminar; her talk was titled, "Development & field testing of an automated portable optomechanical accelerometer."
Ying Lia Li's interests in lasers also lie within textures in art. She has worked with cinematographer Gyorgy Laszlo to capture the results of Li using lasers with liquids to create organic structures.