• Room ZS633, 6/F, South Wing, Block Z, 181 Chatham Road South,
    The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong


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Personal profile


Prof. Jianli Chen is a Strategic Hiring Scheme (SHS) professor in the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before moving to Hong Kong, he had spent 28 years of his academic career at the Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin. Prof. Jianli Chen is a world renowned expert in space geodesy and its applications in Earth sciences. He has been working on topics related to global climate change and geophysical applications of space geodetic techniques, including satellite gravimetry, satellite altimetry, and other geodetic measurements for nearly 30 years. He has been extensively involved in data processing, results validation, and geophysical interpretation of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite gravimetry mission, and is a leading science team member of both the GRACE and GRACE Follow-On missions. He is a fellow of the International Association of Geodesy, and has severed as the chair of the IERS Special Bureau for Hydrology since 2004, and co-chair/chair of the IAG Commission 3.3 (Earth Rotation and Geophysical Fluids) since 2012. A crowning distinction of his decorative career was the 2005 US Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on early career scientists and engineers (he was the first PECASE awardee in related science field). He has published over 130 refereed journal publications, with about half as lead author.

Prof. Jianli Chen's full CV is available here.

Research interests

  • Space Geodesy and Applications
  • Climate Change (sea level change, ice sheets and glacial melting, …)
  • Hydrology (terrestrial water cycle, ground water, river discharge, …)
  • Oceanography (temperature, salinity, ocean mass, ocean heat content…)
  • Geodynamics, Earth Rotation, Gravity Field, Core-Mantle Interactions
  • Seismic Deformation (from gravity and GPS observations)
  • GNSS Applications (loading deformation, mass load inversion, …)


Ph.D. Student Positions

Prof. Chen is currently seeking highly motivated candidates for 2-3 Ph.D. student positions in the field of space geodesy and global climate change. Preferred qualifications include strong interest in space geodesy, geodynamics and global climate change, proficient English communication skills, and good data analysis and programming skills. 

Anyone majoring in geodesy, geophysics, or other related Earth science fields is encouraged to apply. Please send your CV (including college transcripts), a cover letter, and 2 reference letters (all in PDF format) to Prof. Jianli Chen (jianli.chen@polyu.edu.hk). The starting date can be as early as fall 2022 (if you have the English exam scores ready).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Texas at Austin

External positions

Senior Research Scientist, Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin

Oct 2009Apr 2022

Research Scientist, Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin

Sept 2005Sept 2009

Research Associate (Code 1000), Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin

Sept 2004Aug 2005

Research Associate (RE/SA IV & V), Center for Space Research, University of Texas at Austin

Jan 1999Aug 2004

Research Engineer, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Aug 1989Apr 1994


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