Yiu-Wing Mai conducts research in the fields of materials science and engineering. As an international leader in fracture research, Mai has made significant contributions to a number of areas. He has contributed to the commercial development of asbestos-free cements in Australia and pioneered the quasi-brittle fracture mechanics of cementitious materials.
His other notable achievements include developing crack-bridging models for describing the fracture-toughening behaviours of z-pinned and stitched composite panels, as well as new models for studying composite interfaces using fibre pull-out/push-in and fibre fragmentation tests, leading to design of high-strength–high-toughness composites. In addition, he has created an energy approach for measuring the fracture toughness of ductile materials such as polymer thin films and polymer blends.
Mai has published extensively, including hundreds of SCI journal papers, 5 books and over 30 book chapters. He is a highly cited researcher. He holds two US patents and, in 2010, became a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to engineering — particularly in the fields of advanced composite materials and fracture research.