Silent, smiling and always up for fun, Yaolin Wang is an engineer and scientist rolled into one. EUROPAH is not the only reason he moved to Liverpool as he also loves football. Having lived in multiple cities across China, he enjoys the cosmopolitan vibe of Liverpool. Here’s what he has to say about himself and his work. 

About Me…

I have a very interdisciplinary research background, a mechanical designer, a field engineer and a chemist in catalysis, but most importantly, I am a passionate researcher. I got my bachelors degree from School of Mechanical Engineering of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), and then I finished my masters degree as a thermal power engineer in Zhejiang University (ZJU).

My current work…

I have a PHD position in EUROPAH and my host is University of Liverpool under Dr. Xin Tu’s supervision. Currently, I am focusing on the destruction process of PAHs and related species under plasma field. By using an AC gliding-arc system to produce energetic electrons and radicals for the conversion of PAHs under low temperatures and ambient pressure. Naphthalene has been chosen as a model PAH compound at the initial stage of my study. The chemical analysis methods and plasma diagnostics are carried out to understand the mechanism. Meanwhile, I am also cooperating with Mike to conduct a project of biofuels, funding by Supergen-Bioenergy.

The EUROPAH journey so far…

Frankly speaking, my job is quite different from the others in EUROPAH. My research is focus on investigating the reactive behaviour of naphthalene (a PAH), one of the main components in tar, under room temperature and ambient pressure, which means the work is very important for the industrial application and can solve the practical problem in industry. One of my dreams is to find an innovative way to bring plasma technology into industry through the industry-college-institute cooperation, which shows a great potential in energy field.

The highlights in EUROPAH so far was the Les Houches summer school. It was one of the most impressive experiences, just like a dream. Beautiful place, great natural environment, delicate wood house and passionate mates, it was quite memorable for me.

If I were not a scientist, I would be an engineer to solve the practical problems in the industrial process.


What my typical day looks like…

I spend all day in the lab for most days in a week. And I always read papers after dinner. By the way, I also relax by playing badminton and watching movies whenever I find time.


  • Three words to describe me: Passionate, Creative, Curious
  • I grow up in both north (Tianjin, near Beijing) and south cities (Shanghai and Hangzhou) of China. The food in these cities are totally different but delicious and unforgettable.
  • I currently work and live in Liverpool which is a wonderful city for a football fan like me.
  • My hobbies: Badminton, pool, cycling, and watching football matches (of course)