yaoDr. Yuan Yao

Director of Sustainability Systems Analysis Lab

Assistant Professor of Sustainability Science and Engineering

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, 2016

B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, Northeastern University, China, 2011

Management for Scientists and Engineers, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, 2015

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Graduate Students

Kai Lan

Ph.D. student (2017 Fall -)

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

M.S in Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Mochen Liao

Ph.D. student (2017 Fall – )

B.S. Applied Chemistry, South China University of Technology



Darlene Echeverria

Ph.D. student (2018 Fall – )

M.S. Forest Biomaterials, NCSU, 2018

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela

Student Spotlight


Maria Herrera Diaz (co-advised with Dr. Steve Kelley)

Ph.D. student

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela




Zhenzhen Zhang (co-advised with Dr. Katherine Martin and Dr. Kathryn Stevenson)

Ph.D. student (2017 Fall – )

Bachelor of Agriculture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China

M.S. in Environmental Informatics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Rodrigo Buitrago Tello

Ph.D. student (2018 Fall – )

M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Master in Chemical Process Engineering and Sustainable Development, Universidad del País Vasco, Spain

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Fundación Universidad de América, Colombia


Boyu Wang

Ph.D. student (2019 Fall-)

M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland, 2019

B.S. Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University, China, 2017


Postdoctoral Fellow

Adam Scouse, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scholar (2018 Fall – )

PhD in Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, 2018

MS in Wood Science & Engineering, Oregon State University, 2012

BS in Wood Science & Forest Products, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 2009






Kristen Tomberlin

Sara Johnson – Adidas.

  • M.S. in Textile Engineering (2018-2019)
  • Research Project – Supply Chain Analysis of Waste Cotton and End-of-Life Applications

Alec Nabinger – bioMASON Inc.




Group Photo