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    Personal profile

    Contact Details


    Office: MB154R

    Phone: +44 755 122 3073


    Dr Chao Liu is a Lecturer in Digital Manufacturing at Aston University, and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, in 2018. Before joining Aston University, Dr. Liu has worked as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has also worked on a Horizon2020 project as a Research Associate (Postdoc) in the School of Engineering at Cardiff University, UK.

    Dr Liu’s research focuses on both theoretical development and practical applications of various Smart Manufacturing technologies. His research interests cover a wide range of topics in Smart Manufacturing, including Digital Twin, Cyber-Physical Production Systems, Industrial Internet of Things, Machine Tools and Machining Processes, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, Augmented Reality, etc.

    Dr Liu has published more than 50 articles in High Impact Factor International Journals and International Conference Proceedings. He serves as Managing Guest Editor for Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Sensors, and Shock and Vibration. He serves as a reviewer for multiple high impact international journals including Journal of Manufacturing Systems, Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Advanced Engineering Informatics, etc. He has also organised and chaired multiple sessions in different international conferences.

    Research Interests

    • Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing
    • Digital Manufacturing
    • Digital Twin
    • Cyber-Physical Production Systems
    • Industrial Internet of Things
    • Machine Tools and Machining Processes
    • Machine Learning & Big Data Analytics
    • Human-Machine Collaboration
    • Augmented Reality
    • Additive Manufacturing
    • Ultra-Precision Machining Technologies

    Funding Applications and Awards

    • Royal Society Research Grant: ‘Digital twin-enabled intelligent energy management for a Cyber-Physical Factory’ (PI, £70k, 2023-2024)
    • Royal Society International Exchanges Cost Share (NSFC) Grant: ‘Energy efficiency optimisation for Cyber-Physical Production Systems: A hybrid model-data driven approach’. (PI, £12k, 2023-2025)
    • Horizon EU Project: 'advancing Hydrogen (H2) technologies and smart production systems TO decarbonise the GLass and Aluminium SectorS (H2GLASS)'. (Co-I, €481k/€24.45M, 2023-2027)
    • KTP Project with JDD Furniture Ltd.: 'The digitalisation of a furniture design and make operation'. (Co-I, £205k, 2023-2026)
    • ADFI Interdisciplinary Research Pump-priming Fund: ‘Augmented Reality-assisted intelligent human-machine collaborations in Cyber-Physical Factory at GBSIoT’. (PI, £3k, 2023)
    • Young Scientists Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China: ‘Next-generation Cyber-Physical Machine Tools towards digitalisation and servitisation’. (PI, £37k, 2022-2024)
    • State Key Laboratory of Ultra-precision Machining Technology (SKLUMT) Fund: 'Digital Twin-enabled real-time process control optimisation for Fluid Jet Polishing of freeform surfaces.' (PI, £28k, 2020-2021)


    • IJPR Top Reviewer Award 2023 – International Journal of Production Research (IF: 9.2), 2023.
    • Top Cited Paper Award – International Journal of Production Research (IF: 9.2), 2021/22. Liu, C.*, Zheng, P., & Xu, X. (2021). Digitalisation and servitisation of machine tools in the era of Industry 4.0: a review. International Journal of Production Research, 1-33.
    • Best Paper Award – Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing (IF: 10.4), 2021. Yuqian Lu, Chao Liu, Kevin Kai Wang, Huiyue Huang, and Xun Xu. "Digital Twin-driven smart manufacturing: Connotation, reference model, applications and research issues." Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing 61 (2020): 101837.
    • Overall Winner – 2017 NAMRI/SME Student Research Presentation Award, 45th SME North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC 45), Los Angeles, USA, 06/2017.
    • Erasmus+ Grant – 3 months PhD research visit at Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia. 02/2018 – 05/2018.

    Professional/editorial offices

    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (2022 - )
    • Member, EPSRC Peer Review College (2023 - )
    • Member, IEEE (2024 - )
    • Associate Editor, Conference Editorial Board for IEEE CASE (2024 - )
    • Managing Guest EditorRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (IF: 10.4), Special Issue on “Digitalization and servitization of machine tools in the era of Industry 4.0”  (12/2021 - )
    • Managing Guest Editor, Sensors (IF: 3.9), Special Issue on “Smart Manufacturing based on Sensing Technology: Digital Twin, Artificial Intelligence and Human–Robot Collaboration”  (12/2023 – )
    • Managing Guest Editor, Sensors (IF: 3.9), Special Issue on “Advanced Sensing Technology and Data Analytics in Smart Manufacturing”  (06/2022 – )
    • Guest Editor, Micromachines (IF: 3.4), Special Issue on “Ultra-Precision Manufacturing” (11/2023 - )
    • Guest Editor, Shock and Vibration (IF: 1.6), Special Issue on “Intelligent Diagnosis Methods for Initial Faults in Rotor-Bearing Systems” (11.2020)
    • Editorial Board Member, Digital Manufacturing Technology (2022-)
    • Editorial Board Member, Green Manufacturing Open (2022 - )

    Chair and member for international conferences

    • Special Session Chair, 19th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE 2023), Auckland, New Zealand (08.2023)
    • Publicity Chair, 4th International Conference on Industrial IoT, Big Data and Supply Chain (IIoTBDSC 2023), Wuhan, China and Birmmingham, UK (09.2023)
    • Organising Committee Chair, 28th IEEE International Conference on Automation and Computing (ICAC 2023), Birmingham, UK (08.2023)
    • Organising Committee Chair, 27th IEEE International Conference on Automation and Computing (ICAC 2022), Bristol, UK (09.2022)
    • Organising Committee member, 48th International conference on Computers & Industrial Engineering (CIE 48), Auckland, New Zealand (12.2018)
    • Session Chair, 2nd Digital Twin International Conference, Sydney, Australia (09.2022)
    • Session Chair, CIRP International Conference on Manufacturing Systems (CMS 2022), Lugano, Switzerland (07.2022)
    • Session co-organiser & chair, Special Session on “Digital Twin: Theories, challenges, methodologies and applications”, 48th International conference on Computers & Industrial Engineering (CIE 48) (12.2018)

    Teaching Activity

    • Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
    • Digitalisation of Manufacturing Systems
    • Engineering for Industry
    • Prototyping and Development

    PhD Supervision

    Main supervisor:

    • Mohammad Mehdi Keramati Feyz Abadi (2023 - ): Digital twin-enabled intelligent energy management for manufacturing systems towards Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing


    • Youxi Hu (2020 - ): Smart Remanufacturing Systems


    Updated October 2023

    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 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, Cyber-Physical Machine Tools for Smart Manufacturing, University of Auckland


    MSc, Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University China


    BSc, Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University China


    External positions

    Research Assistant Professor, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

    Aug 2020Dec 2021

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cardiff University

    May 2019Aug 2020


    • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
    • Smart Manufacturing
    • Digital Manufacturing
    • Industry 4.0
    • Digital Twin
    • Machine Tools
    • Machine learning
    • Internet of Things
    • Cyber-Physical Production System
    • Augmented Reality
    • Metal Additive Manufacturing
    • Ultra Precision Machining


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