Environmental and biological systems engineering (Yang)

Sustainable energy and production
We are interested in designing future food-energy-water, urban and industrial systems and understanding the transition pathways for environmental and resource sustainability.
Rational utilisation of biomass resources
Biomass is an important renewable resource for the sustainable provision of energy, chemicals and materials. We are interested in applying systems engineering tools such as multi-criteria decision making, mathematical modelling and optimisation to assess, improve, and integrate processes and supply chains that utilise biomass for various products or services. Research in this area is closely linked to the treatment of municipal and industrial waste streams, including the application of micro-algae based systems.
Biological systems
Research this area represents applications of multiscale modelling, which is a modelling approach that combines models of different scales of a system in order to obtain an overall model of desired quality or computational efficiency which is difficult to achieve by a single scale model. This modelling paradigm is widely regarded as a promising and powerful tool in various disciplines, including process engineering, material science, computational mechanics, system biology, and biomedical engineering. Our previous work has attempted to address the common conceptual, numerical and software implementation challenges for developing multiscale models. We are now interested in applying multiscale modelling and analysis in specific areas to facilitate systems understanding and optimisation. In particular, we are developing multiscale approaches to the analysis and design of biological systems that take into account phenomena and mechanisms at sub-cellular, cellular, cell population and bio-reactor scales. Current studies include work on both micro-organisms based engineering systems and stem cells expansion and differentiation.
Atmospheric carbon removal
Removing CO2 from the atmosphere, often referred to as negative emission technologies, aims to stabilize the climate through restoring the atmospheric CO2 concentration to a safe level. Collaborating with colleagues from other disciplines such as earth science and mineral science and engineering, our work in this area investigates the potential of enhanced weathering and related schemes, with the hope to design systems that can operate under mild conditions in order to avoid prohibiting energy and economic costs.