Ming Xu

Director, China Programs; Associate Professor


PhD, Arizona State University (civil and environmental engineering)

MS, Tsinghua University (environmental science and engineering)

BS, Tsinghua University (environmental engineering)



Ming Xu is an Associate Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on the broad fields of sustainable engineering and industrial ecology, with specific interests on trade and environment, environmental impacts of emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles and biofuels, and big data and data science applications in urban sustainability. At the University of Michigan, he is a core faculty member in the Center for Sustainable Systems, co-directs the Graduate Certificate Program in Industrial Ecology, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the Executive Committee of the China Data Center. He teaches Environmental Footprinting and Input-Output Analysis (NRE 573) at the graduate level and Global Enterprises and Sustainable Development (ENVIRON 367) at the undergraduate level. He was an elected Councilor of the International Society for Industrial Ecology (2013-2015) and has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling (2015 Impact Factor: 3.280) since 2015.

  • 2016- 2020: PI, "UNS: U.S.-China: Integrated Systems Modeling of Food-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus for Urban Sustainability," National Science Foundation, $499,990, CBET-160520. 
  • 2016-2021: Single PI, "CAREER: Computational Approaches for Life Cycle Inventory Database Development," National Science Foundation, $509,800, CBET-1554349.
  • 2014-2017: PI, "Water Scarcity Risk for the Global Trade Network," National Science Foundation, $319,200, CBET-1438197.
  • 2011-2015: PI, "Developing a Spatially-Explicit Agent-Based Life Cycle Analysis Framework for Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Bioenergy Systems," National Science Foundation, $309,097, CBET- 1132581. 
  • 2010-2015: Co-PI, "CERC-CV: U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center for Clean Vehicles," Department of Energy, $12,500,000, DE-PI0000012.

  • Elected President of Chinese Society for Industrial Ecology (CSIE) serving the 2018 term (2017) 
  • Nanova/CAPEES Frontier Research Award, Chinese-American Professors in Environmental Engineering and Science (CAPEES) (2017)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2016)
  • Robert A. Laudise Medal, International Society for Industrial Ecology (2015)
  • Recognized for Impact in Global Education by the Council on Global Engagement at the University of Michigan (2013)
  • Francois Fiessinger Scholarship, Environmental Research and Education Foundation (2008- 2010)
  • Excellent Graduate Award, Tsinghua University (2006)

Select publications: 
  • Qu, S.; Wang, H.-X.; Liang, S.; Shapiro, A. M.; Suh, S.; Sheldon, S.; Zik, O.; Fang, H.; Xu, M.* A Quasi-Input-Output model to improve the estimation of emission factors for purchased electricity from interconnected grids. Applied Energy 2017, 200, 249-259.
  • Liang, S.; Qu, S.; Zhu, Z.-Q.; Guan, D.-B.; Xu, M.* Income-based greenhouse gas emissions of nations. Environmental Science & Technology 2017, 51 (1), 346-355.
  • Liang, S.; Wang, H.-X.; Qu, S.; Feng, T.-T.; Guan, D.-B.; Fang, H.; Xu, M.* Socioeconomic drivers of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology 2016, 50 (14), 7535-7545.
  • Xu, M.*; Cai, H.; Liang, S. Big data and industrial ecology. Journal of Industrial Ecology 2015, 19 (2), 205-210.
  • Cai, H.; Xu, M.* Greenhouse gas implications of fleet electrification based on Big Data-informed individual travel patterns. Environmental Science & Technology 2013, 47 (16), 9035-9043.

Read more publications here.