Dr. Ok-Youn Yu

Dr. Ok-Youn Yu joined Appalachian State University in 2010 and currently serves as Chairperson of the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment. He earned his Ph.D. from the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University in 2009. He holds a remote pilot certificate (i.e., FAA Part 107) and is a licensed professional civil engineer in the State of North Carolina.  Dr. Yu has extensive research experience and has received more than $1.6 million in research grants (as PI/Co-PI) from NSF, EPA, USDA, NCDOT, and NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services since 2011. 

His research interests include UAV technology in Construction (e.g., construction surveying, soil erosion monitoring), infrastructure sustainability, and integrated sustainable energy system development (e.g., greenhouse root zone heating, biochar applications as soil amendment and building material). He has mentored over 30 graduate students and numerous undergraduate students in various research projects.  Dr. Yu’s academic achievements also include the publication of many refereed journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, as well as dozens of invited presentations and features in the Watauga Democrat, Energy Central News, and Appalachian Today.  Prior to teaching, he worked as a bridge and tunnel engineer for five years.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 2009
  • M.S., Department of Construction Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 2005
  • B.S., Department of Civil Engineering, KonKuk University, Seoul, Korea, 1999

Research Interests: 

  • UAV Technology in the Built Environment: UAV-based thermal infrared remote sensing in building energy performance analysis, UAV-based soil erosion monitoring and assessment, Comparative analysis of UAV-based construction surveying accuracy
  • Sustainable Energy System Development: Biomass greenhouse heating, Landfill gas monitoring systems
  • Infrastructure Sustainability: Remote health monitoring, Natural hazard mitigation (Early warning systems)
  • Project Risk Management: Life cycle assessment, Bayesian probability, Optimal modeling
  • Building Information Modeling: Building energy performance management, 4D CAD

Courses Taught

  • Materials and Structures
  • Surveying Methods
  • Construction Estimating
  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Making Hard Decisions
  • Construction Management

Research website

Title: Department Chairperson, Professor
Department: Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-2527

Office address
Katherine Harper Hall 21