He received his BE degree in mechanical engineering from Xi'an Highway University (currently Chang An University), China, in 1982, earning his Master of Science and PhD degrees from Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China, in 1984 and 1990, respectively. Both MS and PhD degrees are in applied mechanics. He joined the Department of Mechanics as an associate lecturer at HUST in 1984, and was promoted to lecturer of mechanics in 1987 during his PhD candidature period. After spending ten years lecturing at HUST, he was awarded a DAAD/K.C. Wong research fellowship in 1994, which enabled him to work at the University of Stuttgart in Germany for nine months. In 1995 he left HUST to take up a postdoctoral research fellowship at Tsinghua University, China, where he worked until 1997. He was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II fellowship in 1997 and a Professorial fellowship in 2002 at University of Sydney and stayed there till December 2003, both by the Australian Research Council, and is currently a Professor in the Research School of Engineering at the Australian National University, Australia. He has published over 280 journal papers and 7 monographs.