Photo of Dr Xiaoyu Yan

Dr Xiaoyu Yan

Lecturer in Renewable Energy


Telephone: 01326 259485

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Xiaoyu is a Lecturer in Renewable Energy at the University of Exeter and previously a Research Associate at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and London, with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Queen Mary, University of London. He has a broad interest in Energy and the Environment and worked with engineers, chemists, plant scientists, environmental scientists, social scientists, economists, biologists, ecologists, computer scientists, modellers and mathematicians in a range of interdisciplinary areas. The central theme of his current research is to develop models and tools that can help governments, industries and the public make more informed decisions with regard to sustainability. Xiaoyu is interested in supervising PhD projects and working with academic visitors in the following areas:

  • Sustainability assessment of bioenergy pathways, electricity generation technologies, transport options, water systems and mining operations using life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Developing spatio-temporal dynamical LCA methods
  • Impact of renewable energy systems on ecosystem services
  • Water-Energy-Food-Environment Nexus
  • Energy and transport system modelling
  • Performance and emissions of alternative fuels in engines


Current PhD opportunities:


Recent and current research projects:

  • AVaRICE: Algal Valorisation & Remediation of metal Ion Contaminated Effluents (GW4+ Initiator Fund and Accelerator Fund, 2014-2015)
  • RAINSAFE: Safe Drinking Water from Harvested Rain Water (EU CIP, 2013-2016)
  • Dynamic Spatio-temporal Hybrid Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) as a Novel Tool to Assess the Impact of Energy System Transitions on Ecosystem Services (PML & University of Exeter Research Collaboration Fund, 2015)
  • “Water Energy Food” WEFWEBS: Mapping the WEF Nexus at Multiple Scales and Across Sectors (EPSRC, 2015-2018)
  • An innovative framework for sustainability assessment of renewable energies based on life-cycle analysis and ecosystem services evaluation (British Council Newton Fund PhD Placement Programme, 2016-2017)
  • CEReS: Co-processing of coal mine and electronic wastes: Novel resources for a sustainable future (EU RFCS, 2016-2019)
  • Integrating marine ecosystem services into macroeconomic modelling (NERC GW4+ DTP CASE studentship, 2016-2020)
  • ICE: Intelligent Community Energy (EU INTERREG, 2016-2019)
  • IMP@ACT: Integrated Mobile modularised Plant and Containerised Tools (EU H2020, 2016-2020)
  • Unpacking China’s Water-Energy-Food-Environment (WEFE) nexus (EPSRC GCRF, 2016-2017)
  • Embedded systems for Integrated Photovoltaics in Rural Buildings: E-IPB (Newton Fund – China-UK Research and Innovation Bridges, 2017-2019)


Research group members:

  • Dr Gloria Salmoral - Research Fellow
  • Atta Ajayebi - PhD student
  • Marina Maier - PhD student
  • Robert Pell - PhD student
  • Emily Stebbings - PhD student
  • Yang Qu - PhD student
  • Aggeliki Konsta - Erasmus intern from National Technical University of Athens
  • Dr Zhiwei Wang - Academic visitor from Energy Research Institute, Henan Academy of Sciences, China (former member)
  • Dr Yongguo Li - Academic visitor from Shanghai Ocean University, China (former member)



CSM1032: Renewable Energy Systems 1
CSM3062: Life Cycle Analysis
CSM3372: Energy Generation from Biomass and Waste
ISS3002: Global Climate Change: Environment, Technology and Society