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Personal profile


Prof. Qingyan “Yan” Chen is the Director of the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Reearch (PAIR) and Chair Professor of Building Thermal Science in the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University since August 2021. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Building and Environment since 2008.

Prof. Chen earned his B.Eng. in 1983 from Tsinghua University and M.Eng. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1988 from the Delft University of Technology. He worked as a Research Scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich) from 1989 to 1991, as a Project Manager for TNO in the Netherlands from 1991 to 1994, and as Assistant and Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1995 to 2002. Before he joined PolyU, he was Professor, Vincent P. Reilly Professor, and James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University from 2002 to 2021. 

Prof. Chen has many other parallel appointments in his career, such as Honorary Professor at RMIT University in Australia, Otto Monsted Visiting Professor at the Technical University of Denmark, New Millennium Yuelu Outstanding Visiting Professor at Hunan University in China, Professorial Fellow at the Cardiff University in the UK, Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Visiting/Guest/Adjunct Professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University in Japan, Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, and Tianjin University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Tsinghua University, Southeast University, Dalian University of Technology , Xi'an Jiaotong University, Soochow University, Centra South University, Hunan University and Guangzhou University in China. In addition, he has co-supervised Ph.D. students from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, University of Cagliari and University of Padua in Italy, and Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

Prof. Chen's current research topics include indoor environment, aircraft cabin environment, and energy-efficient, healthy, and sustainable building design and analysis. He has published three books, six papers in book chapters, and over 470 journal and conference papers, and has been invited to deliver more than 180 lectures internationally.

Prof. Chen received several technical paper and poster awards and Distinguished and Exceptional Service Awards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and CAREER award from the National Science Foundation in the United States in 1996. He has also received the Willis J. Whitfield Award "for significant contributions to the field of contamination control through numerous published papers, studies, and reports" from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology in 2007, John Rydberg Gold Medal for "outstanding contribution to the advancement of modelling and measurement of ventilation and air distribution in buildings" from the Scandinavian Federation of Heating, Ventilating and Sanitary Engineering Associations (SCANVAC) in 2011, and Distinguished Achievement Award that is "to recognize individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of building performance simulation over the course of their careers" from the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) in 2013. Prof. Chen was awarded as an honorable member of the Society of Heating, Air-conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan (SHASE) in 2020 for "promoting to encourage the international academic exchange and to enhance the friendly cooperation with oversea academic societies". He was also recognized by the Hong Kong government as a Global STEM Professor in 2021. Prof. Chen is a fellow of the ASHRAE, the International Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ), and the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM). 

Research interests

  • Computer simulations and experimental measurements of built environment
  • Energy-efficient, healthy, and sustainable buildings

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Delft University of Technology

Master of Mechanical Engineering, Delft University of Technology

Bachelor of Engineering, Tsinghua University