• Aston Triangle, Main Building 154M

    B4 7ET Birmingham

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile

Contact Details

Phone number: +44 (0) 121 204 3291                             
Email: y.xu16@aston.ac.uk


Professor Yuchun Xu is the Chair in Manufacturing, Director of Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing Research Centre (SMRC) at Aston University. His research lies in the areas of Smart Manufacturing, Remanufacturing, Life Cycle Engineering and Circular Economy. Prof Xu’s research is sponsored by EPSRC, Innovate UK and Horizon EU/2000, and EU FP7 etc. with total grant portfolio of over £45M. His research is primarily focused on developing digital solutions to address sustainability challenges and facilitating the digital and green transition of industry and society.  His research spans full product life cycle, including design, development, manufacturing, maintenance, remanufacturing/life extension, and recycle/disposal. Professor Yuchun Xu's industrial collaborators include Manufacturing Technology Centre, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, QinetiQ and Network Rail etc.

Professor Xu has published over 90 research papers largely in leading international journals. He is the Member of EPSRC & STFC Peer Review College. Prof Xu regularly serves as the technical and programme committee member of leading international conferences.

Professor Xu was the General Chair of The 28th International Conference on Automation and Computing (ICAC2023) held on 30 Aug - 1 Sep 2023 at Aston University.

Research Interests

Professor Xu’s research interests include Digital Product Development & Manufacturing, Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing, Automation and Robotics, Remanufacturing and Life Cycle Engineering, Life Cycle Cost Modelling and Optimisation.

Teaching Activity

  • Design for Manufacturing
  • Engineering for Industry
  • Materials and Manufacturing
  • Industry 4.0
  • Individual Major Project / Final Year Project


  • Aug 2020 – : Chair Professor of Manufacturing, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University
  • 2017 – 2020: Senior Lecturer in Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University
  • 2008 – 2017: Lecturer, Manufacturing Division, School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing, Cranfield University
  • 2005 – 2008: Research Fellow, School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University of Belfast
  • 2003 – 2005: Project Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering Centre, School of Engineering, Cardiff University
  • 2001 – 2002: Department Manager, Technical Centre, Great Wall Broadband Network Ltd., Shanghai, China
  • 1999 – 2001: Postdoc researcher, National Key Laboratory of Precision Measuring Technology and Instruments, School of Precision Instrument & Opto-electronics Engineering, Tianjin University, China


  • PhD in Manufacturing Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, China, 1993-1999
  • BEng (1st Hons) in Automotive Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, China, 1989-1993

Key research projects

  • InnovateUK project: Digital InnovAtion TransfOrMatIve Change (DIATOMIC) (£474k/£6.24M, 2023-2025, PI)
  • Horizon EU project: advancing Hydrogen (H2) technologies and smart production systems TO decarbonise the GLass and Aluminium SectorS (H2GLASS) (101092153-H2GLASS-HORIZON-CL4-2022-TWIN-TRANSITION-01, €481k/€24.45M, 2023-2027, PI)
  • EU Marie S Curie Research and Innovation (RISE) project: Integrated Nanocomposites for Thermal and Kinetic Energy Harvesting (INTAKE) (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2020-"INTAKE"-101007429, €759k, 2022–2027, Co-I)
  • EU H2020 project: Re-manufacturing and Refurbishment of Large Industrial Equipment (RECLAIM) (869884-RECLAIM-H2020-NMBP-FOF-2019, €881k/€12.75M, 2019-2023, PI)
  • Department for Education: Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIOT) in Advanced Manufacturing (2019–2024)
  • KTP project with Wickens Engineering Ltd: Smart Factory - Development and Incorporation of Advanced Design, Automation and Information Technologies (KTP011518, £361k, 2019-2020, Lead Academic)
  • ERDF project: Enscite 3 – Manufacturing Readiness Level Assessment (£100k/£1M, 2019-2022, Co-I)
  • EPSRC project: AUTONOM: Integrated Through-life Support for High-Value Systems (EP/J011630/1, £930k, 2012–2016, Co-I)
  • EU Marie Curie IRSES project: Customised Advisory Services for Energy-efficient Manufacturing Systems (CASES) (294931, FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES-"CASES", €379k, 2012–2016, Co-I)
  • EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Through-life Engineering Services (EP/I033246/1, £5.83M, 2011–2016, Co-I)
  • EPSRC DTA project with Rolls-Royce: Optimise Repair Technology Selection and Model the Repair Knowledge to Support Efficient Knowledge Share in Aero Engine Design (£100k, 2012–2015, PI)
  • KTP project with SMS Ltd.: Develop an Integrated Design Methodology for Microwave Products (KTP 7624, £132k, 2010–2012, PI)
  • KTP project with Rolls-Royce plc.: Develop a Service Knowledge Backbone System Prototype Toolset (KTP 7767, £133k, 2010–2012, Co-I)

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 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


  • TS Manufactures
  • Smart Manufacturing
  • Industry 4.0
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Remanufacturing
  • Life Cycle Engineering
  • Life Cycle Cost
  • Circular Economy
  • TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
  • Automation
  • Robotics
  • Engineering Management


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