A computer- and network-security expert who has been called a role model for women in STEM disciplines is the winner of an award that each year recognizes an outstanding postdoctoral fellow at Clemson University.

Lu Yu, of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is receiving the Clemson University Postdoctoral Award. It recognizes outstanding performance in scientific research, leadership, advocacy, outreach and teaching.

Lu Yu stands outside Riggs Hall, where she does research with Richard Brooks.

Lu Yu stands outside Riggs Hall, where she does research with Richard Brooks.

Yu received her Ph.D. from Clemson in electrical engineering in 2012 and remained at Clemson as a postdoctoral fellow.

Yu’s research involves network security, anti-censorship countermeasures, user privacy and anonymity.

She and her former Ph.D. advisor, Richard Brooks, worked together on the Internet Freedom project, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The project helped bring together activists and had a strong political impact in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Their user community has become an ongoing movement of online, pro-freedom-of-expression “Africtivistes,” which is continuing this work.

Yu has helped Brooks with research projects funded by the U.S. Army, Air Force, State Department and the National Science Foundation and private companies. She and Brooks have co-authored five publications in high-impact journals and 12 peer-reviewed conference papers.

One of Yu’s papers won a best-paper award at a security conference at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She was also advisor to a Clemson team that took first place in the Palmetto Cyber-Defense Competition at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in Charleston.

Yu will receive her award during National Postdoc Appreciation Week, which runs Sept. 18-22.

Douglas Hirt, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, congratulated Yu on the award.

“Dr. Yu’s credentials are a testament to her outstanding work as postdoctoral researcher and position her as a role model for other women in STEM disciplines,” Hirt said. “This is a well-deserved honor. I thank Dr. Yu and all of Clemson’s postdocs for their hard work.”