Dr. Xiao obtained her double Bachelor degrees in Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Engineering and Marketing from Xi'an Jiao Tong University in 1998, her Master degree in Refrigeration and Cryogenics Engineering from Shang Hai Jiao Tong University in 2001, and her PhD in Building Services Engineering from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2004. She worked in Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd. from 2005 to 2006. She returned to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in March 2006 and became a lecture in July 2006. She was promoted to Assistant Professor in September 2009, and Associate Professor in July 2013.

Dr. Xiao is an active scholar in building energy with a focus on building life-cycle commissioning and diagnosis as well as novel energy-efficient air conditioning and refrigeration technologies. Since joining the department in 2006, Dr Xiao has published over 50 SCI journals and secured 5 external competitive research grants as principal investigator, 3 from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, 1 from the Environment and Conservation Fund and 1 from National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). She is a recipient of a number of awards, including the Creation Prize at the 2010 China International Industry Fair as the second inventor, the Technological/Industrial Excellence Merit Award at the 2012 PolyU Distinguished Knowledge Transfer Excellence Awards, and the Dean's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Funding in 2013. 


Academic and Professional Qualifications

PhD (2004); MSc (2001); BSc (1998); BA (1998); Chartered Engineer (UK, 2011-); Member of CIBSE (UK, 2011-); Member of ASHARE (USA, 2006-)


Research Interests

íP         Building automation and diagnostics

íP         Optimal control of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems

íP         Dynamic simulation of building systems, modeling of heat and mass transfer in energy-related equipment in buildings

íP         Liquid desiccant

íP         Building energy efficiency


Research and Academic Experiences


Teaching Experience


Selected Research and Development Grants

íP         11/12 RGC/GRF (5300/11E): Study of Dynamic Characteristics and Energy Performance of Liquid Desiccant System Driven by Heat Pump for Optimization and Control. (PI, 2011-2013)

íP         Mainland University Joint Supervision Scheme: Performance Optimization of Thermoelectric Cooling System Based on Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics Analysis and Loop-control System. (PI and PhD student Co-supervisor, 07/2011-07/2012)

íP         Start-up Research Fund for newly promoted Assistant Professors: Modeling and Optimization of a Novel Hybrid Liquid Desiccant and Evaporative Cooling System Applied in Hong Kong. (PI, 03/2010-03/2012)

íP         ECF (Environment and Conservation Fund) Project 22/2008: Study on the Feasibility and Cost-Effectiveness of a Hybrid Desiccant and Evaporative cooling System Applied in Hong Kong. (PI, HK$204,000, 2009-2010)

íP         09/10 RGC/GRF fundable project: An Optimal Decoupling Strategy for Indoor Thermal Control and Ventilation in DOAS-Integrated Multi-Zone Air-Conditioning Systems. (PI, HK$105,000)

íP         08/09 RGC/GRF funded project: Development of a Novel Data Fusion Technique for Improving Robustness of Automatic Control and Diagnosis in Large Cooling Plants. (PI, HK$305.5K)

íP         08/09 PolyU Internal Competitive Research Grants: Optimal Control of Outdoor Air Ventilation and Indoor Air Humidity in Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems. (PI, HK$200.0K, 09/2008-08/2009)

íP         07/08 RGC/GRF fundable project: Automatic Active Commissioning of Air-Conditioning Systems for Enhancing Building Lifecycle Performance. (PI, HK$180.0K, 05/2008-02/2009)

íP         Edward Sai Kim Hotung Fund: Modeling and Control of a Novel Independent Fresh Air Conditioning System with Membrane-Based Enthalpy Recovery. (PI, HK$548.67K,  03/2008-02/2011)

íP         07/08 PolyU Internal Competitive Research Grants: Automatic Fault Diagnosis of Air Handling Units with Low Quality Measurements. (PI, HK$217.0K, 09/2007-08/2008)

íP         08/09 RGC/GRF funded project: Development and Site Validation of Online Optimal Control Strategies for Building Central Air-Conditioning Systems. (Co-I, HK$348.65K)

íP         07/08 RGC/GRF funded project: Development of A Sensor-based Adaptive Demand-Controlled Ventilation Strategy for Multi-zone VAV Air-conditioning Systems. (Co-I, HK$477.4K, 01/2008-12/2009)

íP         National 11-5 project: Key Technology Development for Building Energy Saving. (Co-I, HK$448.8K, 06/2008-12/2010).


Selected Major Publications

íP         Ge, G.M., Xiao, F. and Xu, X.H. Model-Based Optimal Control of a Dedicated Outdoor Air-Chilled Ceiling System Using Liquid Desiccant and Membrane-Based Total Heat Recovery. Applied Energy. Vol. 88(11), pp. 4180-4190. 2011. (SCI)

íP         Ge, G.M., Xiao, F. and Niu, X.F. Control Strategies for a Liquid Desiccant Air-Conditioning System. Energy and Buildings. Vol. 43(6), pp. 1499-1507. 2011. (SCI)

íP         Niu, X.F., Du, K. and Xiao, F. Experimental Study on the Effect of Magnetic Field on the Heat Conductivity and Viscosity of AmmoniaíVWater. Energy and Buildings. Vol. 43(5), pp. 1164-1168. 2011. (SCI)

íP         Xiao, F., Ge, G.M. and Niu, X.F. Control Performance of a Dedicated Outdoor Air System Adopting Liquid Desiccant Dehumidification. Applied Energy. Vol. 88(1), pp.143-149. 2011. (SCI)

íP         Niu, X.F., Xiao, F. and Ge, G.M. Performance Analysis of Liquid Desiccant Based Air Conditioning System under Variable Fresh Air Ratios. Energy and Buildings. Vol. 42(12), pp. 2457-2464. 2010. (SCI)

íP         Wang, S.W., Zhou, Q. and Xiao, F. A System-Level Fault Detection and Diagnosis Strategy for HVAC Systems Involving Sensor Faults. Energy and Buildings. Vol. 42(4), pp. 477-490. 2010. (SCI).

íP         Xu, X.H., Wang, S.W., Wang, J.B. and Xiao, F. Active Pipe-embedded Structures in Buildings for Utilizing Low-Grade Energy Sources: A Review. Energy and Buildings. Vol. 42(10). pp. 1567-1581. 2010. (SCI)

íP         Niu, X.F., Du, K. and Xiao, F. Experimental Study on Ammonia-Water Falling Film Absorption in External Magnetic Fields. International Journal of Refrigeration. Vol. 33(4), pp. 686-694. 2010. (SCI)

íP         Xiao, F. and Wang, S.W. Progress and Methodologies of Lifecycle Commissioning of HVAC Systems to Enhance Building Sustainability. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. Vol. 13(5), pp. 1144-1149. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Xiao, F. Wang, S.W., Xu, X.H. and Ge, G.M. An Isolation Enhanced PCA Method with Expert-Based Multivariate Decoupling for Sensor FDD in Air-Conditioning Systems. Apply Thermal Engineering. Vol. 29(4), pp. 712-722. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Zhou, Q., Wang, S.W. and Xiao, F. A Novel Strategy of Fault Detection and Diagnosis for Centrifugal Chiller Systems. HVAC&R Research. Vol. 15(1), pp.57-76. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Huang, G.S., Wang, S.W., Xiao, F. and Sun, YJ. A Data Fusion Scheme for Building Automation Systems of Building Central Chilling Plants. Automation in Construction. Vol. 18, pp.302-309. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Xuan, Y.M. and Xiao, F. Analysis on Energy Efficiency of a Hybrid Liquid desiccant and Evaporative Cooling System in Hong Kong. Building Science. Vol. 25(2), pp.84-89. 2009. (In Chinese)

íP         Wang, J.B., Wang, S.W., Xu, X.H. and Xiao, F. Evaluation of Alternative Arrangements of a Heat Pump System for Plume Abatement in a Large-Scale Chiller Plant in a Subtropical Region. Energy and Buildings. Vol. 41(6), pp. 596-606. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Ma, Z.J., Wang, S.W. and Xiao, F. Online Performance Evaluation of Alternative Control Strategies for Building Cooling Water Systems Prior to in Situ Implementation. Applied Energy. Vol. 86(5), pp.712-721. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Xu, X.H., Wang, S.W., Sun, Z.W. and Xiao, F. A Model-based Optimal Ventilation Control Strategy of Multi-Zone VAV Air-conditioning Systems Using Genetic Algorithm. Applied Thermal Engineering. Vol. 29(1), pp. 91-104. 2009. (SCI)

íP         Zhang, L.Z. and Xiao, F. Simultaneous Heat and Moisture Transfer through a Composite Supported Liquid Membrane. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. Vol. 51, pp. 2179-2189. 2008. (SCI)

íP         Zhou, Q., Wang, S.W., Xu, X.H. and Xiao, F. A Grey-Box Model of Next-Day Building Thermal Load Prediction for Energy-Efficient Control. International Journal of Energy Research. Vol. 32(15), pp. 1418-1431. 2008. (SCI)

íP         Xu, X.H., Xiao, F. and Wang, S.W. Enhanced Chiller Sensor Fault Detection, Diagnosis and Estimation Using Wavelet Analysis and Principal Component Analysis Methods. Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 28(2-3), pp. 226-237. 2008. (SCI)

íP         Ma, Z.J., Wang, S.W., Xu, X.H. and Xiao, F. A Supervisory Control Strategy for Building Cooling Water Systems for Practical and Real Time Applications. Energy Conversion and Management. Vol. 49(8), pp. 2324-2336. 2008. (SCI)

íP         Zhou, Q., Wang, S.W., Xiao, F. and Xu, X.H. A Gray-Box Building Model for On-Line Prediction of Hourly Thermal Load in the Next Day. The 1st International Conference on Building Energy and Environment, August 4-6 2008, Dalian, China. 2008. (ISIP)

íP         Xiao, F., Wang, S.W., Xu, X.H. and Ge, G.M. Automatic Commissioning of HVAC Systems for Enhancing Building Life-Cycle Performance, HKIE Transactions. Vol. 15(1), pp. 24-29. 2008. (EI)

íP         Xiao, F. Wang, S.W., Xu, X.H. and Ge, G.M. Automatic Commissioning of AHU Sensors Using Principle Component Analysis. Building Science. Vol. 24(6), pp. 34-39. 2008. (In Chinese)

íP         Wang, S.W. and Xiao, F. Sensor Fault Detection and Diagnosis Using Condition-Based Adaptive Statistical Analysis. HVAC&R Research, Vol. 12(1), pp. 127-150. 2006. (SCI)

íP         Xiao, F., Wang, S.W. and Zhang, J.P. A Diagnostic Tool for Online Sensor Health Monitoring in Air-Conditioning Systems. Automation in Construction, Vol. 15, pp. 489-503. 2006. (SCI)

íP         Xiao, F. and Wang, S.W. Automatic Continuous Commissioning of Measurement Instruments in Air Handling Units. Journal of Harbin Institute of Technology (New Series), Vol.13B, pp. 179-185. 2006.

íP         Wong, W. and Xiao, F. Comparison of Control Strategies of Underfloor Air Conditioning Systems and Overhead Air Conditioning Systems. The proceedings of Hubei íV Hong Kong Joint Symposium on Building Services Design, System Control and Value Evaluation, July 1-2 2005, Wu Han, China.

íP         Wang, S.W. and Xiao, F. AHU Sensor Fault Diagnosis Using Principal Component Analysis Method. Energy and Buildings, Vol. 36(2), pp.147-160. 2004. (SCI)

íP         Wang, S.W. and Xiao, F. Detection and Diagnosis of AHU Sensors Faults Using Principal Component Analysis Method. Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 45(17), pp. 2667-2686. 2004. (SCI)

íP         Xiao, F. and Wang, S.W. Commissioning of AHU Sensors Using Principal Component Analysis Method. Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, Vol. 24(3), pp.179-189. 2003. (Best Paper Award in International Conference of System Simulation in Buildings, Belgium, 2002.)

íP         Wang, S.W. and Xiao, F. Sensor Fault Diagnosis in HVAC Systems. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, October 9-11 2003, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

íP         Yu, H., Xia, Q., Jin, X.Q. and Xiao, F. The Using of Fuzzy Control Based on PMV in VAV Air Conditioning Systems. Energy Conservation, Vol. 4, pp. 3-6. 2001. (In Chinese)

íP         Xiao, F., Xia, Q., Jin, X.Q. and Yu, H. Optimization of Water Chiller Sizing. Energy Conservation, Vol. 2, pp. 15-17. 2001. (In Chinese)

íP         Zhou, X.X., Wang, Y., Zhou Z.F. and Xiao, F. Simulation Research on Fuzzy Control of Inverter-Aid Conditioner Based on System of Variable Conditions. Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 28(7), pp. 42-46. 2000. (In Chinese)

íP         Xia, Q., Xiao, F. and et al. Optimal Sizing Analysis of Water Chillers in Large Air Conditioning System. Refrigeration Science and Technology. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Air Conditioning in High Rise Buildings, Shanghai, China. 2000.


Consultancy and Industrial sponsored research

íP         HVAC System Control and Optimization Strategies in the Retrofit Project of Bei Jing's Jing Yan Hotel for Energy Conservation, Beijing Building Technology Development Co. Ltd. 2007-2009.

íP         Building Energy Efficiency through Intelligent Control and Diagnosis, ICC, SHK. 2005-2010.



Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme

íP         The Hong Kong Polytechnic University invites expressions of interest from graduates with evidence of academic excellence, research ability, and good communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities for full-time PhD study within a newly launched Fellowship scheme. The scheme aims to recruit outstanding graduates, irrespective of country of origin and ethnic background, to Hong Kong, and will provide a 3-year tuition scholarship, a monthly stipend of HK$20,000 (approximately US$2,600) and Conference and Research related travel allowance of HK$10,000 (approximately US$1,300) per year for awardees for a maximum period of three years.

íP         Please visit for further details and contact me if you would like to apply for it and do high-quality research under my supervision.


PolyU PhD Studentship

íP         PhD Research Studentships are now available for graduate students in Engineering Thermophysics, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning. The expected start date will be in earlier 2012. Master degree holders with strong desires to pursue PhD are preferred. The applicants should have satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS scores. Please visit for detailed information about research postgraduate studies in PolyU.

íP         Research Post-doctoral Fellowship, Research Assistants/Associates

íP         Research positions in my research group are available from time to time. The advertisements of the positions will be posted on PolyU website You are also welcome to contact me directly for collaborative research.