Our highlight this week: Yuan Yao

Sustainable Urban Systems


 Dr. Yuan Yao is the Assistant Professor of Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems at Yale University. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in the U.S. and a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Northeastern University in China. She uses interdisciplinary approaches in industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, and data analytics to develop systems tools and methodologies to support engineering and policy decisions. She has been leading collaborative projects related to biofuel and bio-based materials derived from forest resources, green chemistry technologies, and circular economy in different industrial sectors. 

 Yuan’s main research interest areas:

  • Prospective Life Cycle Assessment and Techno-Economic Analysis for emerging technologies in the chemical and other manufacturing industries
  • Dynamic and geospatial modeling of biomass utilization and conversion to chemicals
  • Data-driven approaches for sustainable production and management of materials 

Yuan’s favorite cities and why:

Chicago is Yuan’s favorite city. She always misses the convenient public transportation system and unique architectural styles in Chicago.

Yuan’s collaboration interests:

Yuan’s background is engineering, but she has been developing collaborations with researchers in different disciplines, such as social science and ecology. She looks forward to potential collaborations with SUS members who are interested in sustainable materials and bioenergy for urban systems.