Professor Niu obtained his BSc in HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) engineering in 1983, and MSc in Thermal Engineering in 1986 from Tsinghua University, and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology in 1994. From 1986 to 1989, he worked as an assistant professor and then lecturer at Tsinghua University, and in between also won the CBI overseas scholarship to work as an exchange R&D engineer for 6 months in UK. Since joining The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 1994, he has been teaching subjects covering Thermofluids, Heat Transfer,  Air-conditioning System Design and Analysis, and Indoor Air Quality Engineering. He has successfully supervised 7 PhD students and over 20 Master students. He has broad research interests in low-energy air-conditioning technologies and modeling of indoor air quality. He also provides consultancy services to the building management on diagnosis of indoor air quality and audit of building energy uses. He has obtained over 20 research grants from Hong Kong Research Grant Council (RGC), the university and other funding bodies, authoring and co-authoring nearly 200 technical papers including over 80 internationally reviewed journal papers and giving many invited technical presentations. He is also an inventor, with a personalized ventilation technology patented in both China and USA, and another technology on thermal energy storage filed for US patent. He is also actively involved in a number of international collaborative research projects and professional society activities (ASHRAE and IBPSA), organizing  two major international conferences.  He serves as paper reviewers for several international SCI journals, ranging from fundamental heat and mass transfer to applied thermal engineering, building energy, and environment studies, and scientific committee members for international conferences including Building Simulation and CLIMA series. He has served as PhD thesis examiner for several major universities in Asia including his Alma Mater, and he is currently serving as an Editorial Board Member for the journal of Building and Environment and several open journals. He has won numerous research awards, and was the sole recipient of PolyU President's Award for Excellent Performance/achievement in Research and Scholarly Activities in the year 2003. 


Academic and Professional Qualifications



Research Interests

íP         Building Energy and HVAC system modeling and simulation;

íP         Development of low-energy air-conditioning and ventilation systems;

íP         Modeling of air pollutant emission from building materials, and development of standard testing methods;

íP         Application of turbulence modeling and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) techniques for building ventilation studies;

íP         Diagnosis of indoor air quality, and audit of building energy uses


Selected Research and Development Grants

íP         2009 íV 12          RGC GRF Grant No. 526508: Experimental and simulation study of spatial distribution of human respiratory droplets under typical indoor air distribution patterns, Funding, HK$ 443,000

íP         2007 íV 08          RGC CERG Grant PolyU 5255/06E: Application of Microencapsulated Phase Change Material Slurry with Cooled Ceiling to realize low-energy building design, Funding HK$ 537,000

íP         2006 íV 07          ITF Project ITS/049/06, Smart Thermal Fluid with Nano Composite PCM/Microcapsules, Funding HK$ 899,100.00

íP         2004 íV 07          RFCID project(No. 03040642) and RGC CERG Project PolyU 5125/04E: Effects of inter-flat air flow on the spread of airborne transmission diseases in high-rise residential buildings. Health, Welfare and Food Bureau, Proj. , Funding HK$692,000.00

íP         2002 íV 06          RGC CERG Project PolyU5023/02E and PolyU5129/03E (B-Q562): Developing mass-transfer-based models for the prediction of indoor air pollutant emissions from building materials, Funding HK$1,069,404.

íP         2002 íV 04          PolyU Post-doctoral Fellow Project: G-YW73, Project Title: Simultaneous Mitigation of Indoor Pollutants Concentrations and Inhibition of Outdoor Particulate Penetration in Residential Buildings, HK$ 951,340.

íP         2001 íV 03          RGC CERG funded project PolyU5031/01E: Numerical and experimental investigations of PER and thermal comfort under micro-climate control conditions, HK$490,000.

íP         2001 íV 03          PolyU PDF project G-YW52: Indoor humidity behaviors associated with decoupled cooling in hot and humid climates, Funding HK$ 896,160.

íP         2000 íV 02          RGC CERG Project PolyU 5028/00E (B-Q369): Optimized supply air temperature and velocity with radiant cooling and desiccant humidity control a/c systems, Funding HK$562,000.

íP         2000 íV 01          Central Research Grant G-YC34: Indoor pollutant exposure reduction via personalised ventilation system, Funding HK$180,000.

íP         1998 íV 2001      CERG project PolyU 5013/98E (B-Q222): Integration of desiccant and chilled-ceiling in commercial air conditioning system, CERG funded project, Funding HK$ 495,000.

íP         1998-2001         Methodology for forecasting energy consumption of residential buildings in China - an approach to technological impact, PolyU funded Project G-V083

íP         1998-1999         RGC fundable research project PolyU5020/98E: A new air-conditioning strategy for improved thermal comfort and energy efficiencies, joint project with Prof. J. Burnett, and Prof. R.Y. Zhao (Tsinghua University), Value HK$700,000.

íP         1997-1998         De-coupled treatment of latent and sensible load in air-conditioning systems, Funded by PolyU Research Grant, Project. No.351/602, Value HK$ 250,000.

íP         1993 -1994        ížOffice Building Cooling by Cooled-ceiling in combination with cooling towersíĘ, funded by NOVEM (The Netherlands Foundation of Energy and Environment), NOVEM Project No. 161201.4210

íP         1991-1994         ížInvestigation of energy and thermal comfort performances of cooled-ceiling air-conditioning systemsíĘ, funded by the University Research Grant of Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

íP         1984-1989         "Clean coal combustion technology developments", Department of Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University


Selected Major Publications

HVAC Technology and Systems:

íP         Xu, H.T. and J. L. Niu, Under floor air supply: energy saving estimation methods, Energy and Buildings, Volume 38, Issue 6 , June 2006, pp.641-647, (SCI)


íP         X.C. Wang, J.L. Niu and van Paassen AHC. Raising evaporative cooling potentials using combined cooled ceiling and MPCM slurry storage. Energy and Buildings, Vol. 40, No. 9, 2008, pp. 1691-1698. (SCI)


íP         Xichun Wang, JL Niu, Yi Li, Xin Wang, Binjiao Chen, Ruolang Zeng, Qingwen Song, Yinping Zhang, Flow and heat transfer behaviors of phase change material slurries in a horizontal circular tube, International journal of heat and mass transfer, 41, 2007, pp.2344-2354 (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L., Zhang L,Z, and Zuo, H.G., Energy and humidity performance of a system combining chilled-ceiling with desiccant cooling, ASHRAE Transactions, Vol. 108, Part 2, 2002, Paper No.4570, pp.195-201


íP         Zhang L. Z, and J.L. Niu, Effectiveness correlations for heat and moisture transfer in an enthalpy exchanger with membrane cores, ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 125, No.5, pp. 922-929, October 2002, (SCI)


íP         Zhang, L.Z. and J.L. Niu, Performance comparisons of desiccant wheels for air dehumidification and enthalpy recovery, Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 22, pp-1347-1367, 2002, (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L. Technology options for humidity control for hotels in South-eastern China climate, HKIE Transactions,Vol.8, No.2, pp.20-24, 2001


íP         Zhang L Z and J.L. Niu, Energy requirements for conditioning fresh air and the long term savings with a membrane-based energy recovery ventilator in Hong Kong, Energy, Vol.26, No.2, 2001, pp.119-135, (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L. and J. Burnett, ížIntegrating radiant/operative temperature controls into building energy simulation programsíŽ, ASHRAE Transactions, Vol. 104, Part 2, Paper No. 4200, pp210-217


íP         Zhang H. and J.L. Niu, A two-stage desiccant system using low-grade heat, Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, Vol. 20, No.2, pp.51-55, 1999, (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L., J. v.d. Kooi, and H. v.d. Ree, "Energy saving possibilities with cooled-ceiling systems", Energy and Buildings, Vol.23. No. 2, 1995, pp.147-158, (SCI)


Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation:

íP         Gao, N.P., J Niu, Per Heiselberg, Marco Perino, The airborne transmission of infection between flats in high-rise residential buildings: particulate simulation, Building and Environment, 2008 (SCI) (accepted)


íP         Gao, N.P., JL Niu, XP Liu, Per Heiselberg, Marco Perino, The airborne transmission of infection between flats in high-rise residential buildings: Tracer gas simulation, Building and Environment, in press, Oct 2007 (SCI)


íP         Gao NP and JL Niu, Personalized ventilation for commercial aircraft cabins, Journal of Aircraft, Volume 5, Number 2, (March ­ April 2008), DOI:10.2514/1.30272, (SCI)


íP         Niu J.L. and TCW Tung, On-site quantification of re-entry ratio of ventilation exhausts in multi-family residential buildings and implications, Indoor Air, Volume: 18 Pages: 12-2,6 2008 (SCI)


íP         Li Y, GM Leung, JW Tang, X Yang, CYH Chao, JZ Lin, JW Lu, PV Nielsen, J Niu, H Qian, AC Sleigh; H-J J Su, J Sundell, TW Wong, PL Yuen. Role of ventilation in airborne transmission of infectious agents in the built environment - a multidisciplinary systematic review. Indoor Air, 17, 2-18, 2007. (SCI)


íP         Niu J.L, Gao, NP, Ma PLY, and Zuo HG Experimental study on a chair-based personalized ventilation system", Building and Environment, Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 913-925, 2006(SCI)


íP         Gao N. P. and J.L. Niu, Modeling the performance of personalized ventilation under different conditions of room air and personalized air, International Journal of HVAC&R Research, Vol. 11., No. 4, October. 2005, pp.587-602 , 2005 (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L., Kooi, J.V.D. "Two-dimensional Simulation of the Air Flow and Thermal Comfort in a Room with Open-window and Indoor Cooling Systems", Energy and Buildings, vol.18, No. 1, 1992, pp.65-75, (SCI)


IAQ and Air Pollutant Dynamics:

íP         Li, F. and Niu, J.L. An inverse technique to determine volatile organic compounds diffusion and partition coefficients in dry building material, Heat and Mass Transfer, Volume 41, Number 9 , 2005, Pages: 834 - 842 (SCI)


íP         Zhang L. Z, and J.L. Niu, Mass transfer of volatile organic compounds from painting material in a standard field and laboratory emission cell (FLEC), International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, vol. 46/13, pp 2415 íV 2423, 2003, (SCI)


íP         Luo, R, and J.L. Niu, Determination of water vapor diffusion and partition coefficients in cement using one FLEC, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol.47, 2004, pp.2061-2072, (SCI)


íP         Li F, and JL Niu, Control of volatile organic compounds indoors - development of an integrated mass-transfer-based model and its application, Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 41, No. 11, April 2007, pp.2344-2354 (SCI)


íP         Zhang L.Z., and Niu, J.L. Laminar fluid flow and mass transfer in a standard field and laboratory emission cell (FLEC), International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol 46/1 pp 91-100, 2003, (SCI)


íP         Niu J.L., T.C.W. Tung, and J. Burnett, Quantification of dust removal and ozone emission of air cleaners using environmental chamber testing, Journal of Electrostatics, Vol.51-52, May 2001, pp.20-24 (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L., C.W. Tung, and W. Y. Chui, íąUsing large environmental chamber technique for gaseous contaminant removal equipment testíŽ, ASHRAE Transactions, Vol.104, Part 2, paper No. TO-98-23-3, pp.1289-1296


Turbulence Modeling and CFD validations

íP         Niu JL, Zhu ZJ, Numerical study of three-dimensional flows around two identical square cylinders in staggered arrangements, Physics of Fluids 18 (4): Art. No. 044106 APR 2006, (SCI)


íP         Gao, NP, Niu J.L, "Transient CFD simulation of the respiration process and inter-person exposure assessment" Building and Environment, Vol. 41, No. 9, pp. 1214-1222, 2006(SCI)


íP         Gao, N. P., Niu JL, and Zhang H. Coupling CFD and human body thermoregulation model for the assessment of personalized ventilation", International Journal of HVAC&R Research, 12 (3): 497-518 JUL 200, (SCI)6


íP         Gao NP, and J.L. Niu, Modelling particle dispersion and deposition in indoor environments, Atmospheric environment, Vol. 41, No. 18, June 2007, pp 3862-3876 (SCI)


íP         Xu. H.T and J.L. Niu, Numerical simulation and Experimental Validation of the Swirling turbulent airflow and mixing processes, Numerical heat transfer, Part A. Applications, 46 (6): 571-586 OCT 2004, (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L., Xu, X. C. and Zeng, R.L. " Experimental Determination of the Turbulent-Exchange-Coefficients In Pulverized-Coal Precombustion Chamber ", J. Engineering Thermophysics, No.3, 1988, pp.20-26 (in Chinese with English abstract)


Building Environment and Energy:

íP         Niu, J.L., Some Significant Environmental Issues in High-rise Residential Building Design in Urban Areas, Energy and Buildings, Vol.36, No.12, pp. 1259-1263, 2004, (SCI)


íP         Niu, J.L. and Z.Y. Liao, Forecasting residential energy demand in China: An approach to technology impacts, Journal of Asian Architecture and Building engineering, Vol. 1, No.1, pp.95-103,.March, 2002