Dr Kai Yang is a visiting Principal Research Fellow in the Smart Electronic Materials and Systems (SEMS) Research group at the University of Southampton. She obtained her BSc (Hons) in Material Engineering from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology in China in 2004; and PhD. in Chemistry for the University of Leeds in 2009. She has over 10 years’ experience of e-textiles. Her work primarily focused on the e-textile materials, manufacturing and application development (e.g. healthcare, wearable technologies).
She has been awarded an EPSRC Innovation Fellowship (EP/S001654/1) in 2018 to develop “Advanced E-textiles for Wearable Therapeutics” with the initial application focusing on the osteoarthritis knee joint pain. The technology is also applicable for the knee joint pain caused by other conditions (e.g. injury, post-surgery pain) and other joint pain (e.g. back, shoulder, and hip).
She was PI on the £1.1 million SMARTmove project (www.smartmove.soton.ac.uk) funded by Medical Research Council (MRC). SMARTmove project has developed a textile based wearable Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) training system for stroke upper limb rehabilitation.
She was Co-I of the EPSRC E-textiles Network (www.e-textiles-network.com). The Network is to bring together researchers and developers from academia and industry interested in adding electronic functionality to textiles and their related products. She is Co-Chair for E-textile Conference 2019, 2020, and 2021.
She was the runner-up for the Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award 2016 and is a RAEng Enterprise Hub member. She was co-founder of University spin-out company Smart Fabric Inks (www.fabinks.com) which was established based on the know-how on the functional inks she co-developed for printing electronics on textiles. The company has sold inks to 10 countries worldwide. Smart Fabric Inks was a finalist for the Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Technologies Competition 2017 and Merck Displaying Futures Award 2017.
- Electronic textile materials and manufacturing
- Wearable medical devices (e.g. stroke rehabilitation, pain management)
- Digital healthcare
- Sustainable textiles
Materials: ink/paste formulations for printed electronics on textiles (interface, encapsulation, conductor, piezoelectric, piezoresistive, electrode), biocompatible and eco-friendly materials.
Manufacturing: screen printing, 3D printing, ink jet printing, coating, dyeing and finishing.
E-textiles for wearable healthcare: stroke rehabilitation, pain relief, assisted living, DVT prevention, lymphedema management.
Current PhD Students
She received her BSc in Material Engineering from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, China, in 2004; and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Leeds in 2009. She joined the Electronics and Computer Sciences, University of Southampton, as a Research Fellow in 2009, promoted to a Senior Research Fellow in 2015 and Principal Research Fellowship in 2018. She joined WSA in 2020 as an Associate Professor.