Prof. Dr. Qingyan Chen,

Purdue University


Qingyan “Yan” Chen is the Director of the PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research (PAIR) and Chair Professor of Building Thermal Science in the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University in the United States. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Building and Environment since 2008.
Chen earned his B.Eng. in 1983 from Tsinghua University in China and M.Eng. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1988 from the Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. 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) in the United States from 1995 to 2002. Before he joined PolyU, Chen was Professor, Vincent P. Reilly Professor, and James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University from 2002 to 2021.
Chen has more than 20 parallel appointments in his career, such as Changjiang Chair Professor at Tianjin University in China, 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 Cardiff University in the UK, Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guest Professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University in Japan, Visiting Professor at Helsinki University of Technology in Finland, and visiting/adjunct/guest professors at many universities in China. In addition, he has co-supervised Ph.D. students from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, the University of Cagliari and the University of Padua in Italy, and the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
Chen's current research interests are in healthy, energy-efficient, and sustainable built environment. He has published three books and over 500 journal and conference papers and has been invited to deliver more than 200 lectures internationally. According to Google Scholar, Chen's publications have been cited more than 27,000 times with an H-index of 85. He has been awarded more than US$39 million in research funds.
Chen has led four national research centres and one provincial key laboratory in the United States and China, such as the National Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Research in the Intermodal Transport Environment (RITE) sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. and the 973 Project on Key Problems in Cabin Air Environment of Large Commercial Airliners in China sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology. At PAIR, Chen provides overall leadership to help PolyU to be a world-leader in providing interdisciplinary solutions to address major societal challenges. PAIR has 11 research institutes and seven research centers with more than 500 senior researchers with a research funding of around HK$750 million (US$100 m) in 2022/2023 academic year.
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 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. 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. In 2022, he was elected as a fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences. Chen is also a fellow of the ASHRAE, the International Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ), and the International Association of Advanced Materials (IAAM).
Chen’s research results have been widely reported by news media such as BBC, CNN, DW, ABC, ARD, Sky News, Washington Post, New York Times, the Walls Street Journal, the Guardian, etc. Channel 4 of Chinese CCTV also reported a documentary “Chen Qingyan from Farm Boy to Scientist" in two episodes in its “Chinese World” programme.

Profile Detail


Thermal Science , Building Environment and Energy , Airflow and pollution simulation


United States

Social Media