Honors and Awards

With Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and
Secretary of Education W. Bryant, March 2000


1. National Friendship Award, given by Premier Zhu Ronjie on behalf of the State Council, People's Republic of China, 2000; the supreme award conferred annually since 1991 by the Chinese government to the top 50 international experts and professionals, among over 250,000 working in China, who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic, technological and social development. For outstanding contributions to helping Chinese petrochemical industries with technology development and engineering training between 1992 and 2000.

2. Aspen Tech International Award for University Excellence in Computer-Aided Design, Aspen Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1996, for excellence in computer-aided design, as chosen from worldwide nominations from Aspen Tech software users among 620 universities in 58 countries.

3. Honorary Professor of Chemical Engineering, Qingdao Institute of Chemical Technology, Ministry of Chemical Industry, People's Republic of China, since July 1993, for contributions to the development of teaching and research of process system engineering in China.

4. Senior Advisor, Office of the President, SINOPEC, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, Beijing, People's Republic of China, since 2001. SINOPEC is the largest industry enterprise in China, the largest energy and chemical company in Asia, a global top 10 chemical company, and is ranked #17 on FORTUNE 500 list in 2007.


1. Fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), 2002. Elected in recognition and appreciation of superior attainments, valuable contributions, and service to chemical engineering.

2. Fred Merryfield Design Award for creativity and demonstrated excellence in the teaching and research of engineering design, American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 1993.

3. George Westinghouse Award for excellence in engineering education, ASEE, 1990, ASEE's highest honor for an engineering educator under age 45, for outstanding early achievements in both teaching and scholarship.

4. National Catalyst Award for excellence in chemical education, Chemical Manufacturers Association, 1986. Nominees for the award must be professors of chemistry, biochemistry, or chemical engineering with a minimum of 10 years of full time teaching experience in four year colleges in the United States and Canada.


Western Electric Fund Award for excellence in instruction of engineering students, ASEE, 1984.


Outstanding Faculty Award, State Council of Higher Education of Virginia, 2000, awarded by Governor Jim Gilmore; the highest honor for a faculty at Virginia's public and private colleges and universities for superior achievements in teaching, research and public services.


1. Dean's Awards for Excellence, College of Engineering, 2007 and 2000, for extraordinary performance in teaching innovation (2007) and in helping Virginia industries and developing countries for promoting economic development and environmental stewardship (2000).

2. Excellent Community Service Award presented by the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Virginia Tech, October 1998, in recognition of contributions to VT-ACSS as faculty advisor from 1995 to present. VT-ACSS is the largest student organization at Virginia Tech.

3. Academy of Teaching Excellence, 1997; inducted into the academy as a recipient of major teaching awards at Virginia Tech.

4. Wine Award for a History of University Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech Alumni Association, 1996-97. In memory of W. E. Wine, an alumnus and former rector of the University's Board of Visitors; nominated by students, alumni and faculty, and selected by the College's and University's Wine Award Committees. Top university teaching award at Virginia Tech.

5. Sporn Awards for Excellence in Engineering Teaching, Student Engineers' Council, 2006-2007 and 1995-96; Selected by Student Engineers' Council and given by the University Provost and President, August 2007 and April 1996. Top teaching award selected by 5,500 engineering undergraduates at Virginia Tech.

6. Certificate of Teaching Excellence, 1994, for having received the highest overall ratings in teaching evaluations by students, among 280 engineering faculty at Virginia Tech, for six courses taught in both 1993 and 1994.

7. Distinguished Alumni Award, Tufts University, 1990; which reads: "Presented to Dr. Y. A. Liu, 'G70, In Recognition of Distinguished Achievements in Academia as Both Researcher and Educator, a Friend and Most Worthy Representative of This Institution. Annual Alumni Dinner, 20th Day of April, 1990."

8. Frank C. Vilbrandt Endowed Professorship, 1983; Dr. John M. Perry, Acting Provost at Virginia Tech, wrote the following statement in appointing Professor Liu to become the youngest faculty to hold a distinguished named professorship: "This honor is highly deserved and renews a similar recognition bestowed on you earlier at Auburn University. In a remarkably young career, you have demonstrated the achievements which set a standard for other faculty members: a highly productive research program balanced by unusual dedication and talent in teaching."

9. Outstanding Professor in Chemical Engineering, selected by the senior class and the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Virginia Tech, May, 1985, 1986 and 1989.

10. Plaque of appreciation presented by the Chemical Engineering Faculty, Virginia Tech, October 1985, which reads as follows: "Presented by the Faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Virginia Tech, to Y. A. Liu, Frank C. Vilbrandt Professor of Chemical Engineering, for his leadership in arranging for the Frank C. Vilbrandt Memorial Conference and Golden Anniversary Celebration, October 10-11, 1985."

11. Alumni Professorship, Auburn University, 1980-82; endowed by the Auburn Alumni Association, February, 1980, "as a reward for and in recognition of unusually high productivity and outstanding accomplishments of individual faculty in teaching, research and extension activities"; the top chaired professorship that can be awarded to a faculty member at Auburn University.

12. Outstanding Engineering Faculty Award, Auburn University, 1980 81, 1979 80, 1978 79, 1976 77, "for having demonstrated his ability as a stimulating, knowledgeable, and concise instructor and having shown a keen interest and concern for each student's personal development"; Best chemical engineering teacher selected by junior and senior chemical engineering students, Auburn University, 1975. Received the best undergraduate and graduate course evaluations in the Chemical Engineering Department at Auburn University in 14 out of 17 quarters with teaching assignments since the mandatory student course evaluation system became effective in Fall, 1975.

13. Plaque of appreciation presented by the Chemical Engineering Faculty, Auburn University, December 1981, which reads as follows: "In appreciation to Y. A. Liu, an Auburn alumni chair holder, excellent researcher and outstanding teacher, a friend and colleague whose competence, warmth and thoughtfulness we shall miss but always cherish."

14. Plaque of appreciation presented by Chemical Engineering students, Auburn University, November 1981, which reads as follows: "Presented to Dr. Y. A. Liu by the 81 82 Auburn Chapter of AIChE in recognition of his outstanding service and devotion to all Auburn chemical engineering students."