Dr. Yao’s research is motivated by the increasing need of sustainable engineering that can support industrial development without compromising the environment or depleting the resources for future generations. She uses interdisciplinary approaches in industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, and operations research to develop systematic and scientific rigorous methodologies to support engineering and policy decisions towards a more sustainable future.
She has been collaborating with multiple national labs, energy consulting firms, and universities to develop quantitative analysis for accelerating RD&D in renewable energy technologies, carbon capture, chemical process improvements, and supply chain optimization.
Dr. Yao was selected to the program of Management for Scientists and Engineers from Kellogg School of Management. She received a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from Northeastern University, China, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University, United States.
- Environmental implications of the methanol economy in China: well-to-wheel comparison of energy and environmental emissions for different methanol fuel production pathways (2017)
- Life-cycle modeling framework for generating energy and greenhouse gas emissions inventory of emerging technologies in the chemical industry (2017)
- Models for sustainability (2017)
- Prospective life cycle assessment of emerging technology options for U.S. ethylene industry (2016)
- Quantifying the water-energy-food nexus: Current status and trends (2016)
- Understanding variability to reduce the energy and GHG footprints of U.S. ethylene production. (2015)
- A hybrid life-cycle inventory for multi-crystalline silicon PV module manufacturing in China (2014)
- Greener pathways for energy-intensive commodity chemicals: Opportunities and challenges (2014)
- Reflections on a Massive Open Online LCA Course (2014)
- Design under uncertainty of hydrocarbon biorefinery supply chains: Multiobjective stochastic programming models, decomposition algorithm, and a comparison between CVaR and downside risk (2012)