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Dr J.Z. Ren
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr J.Z. Ren 任競爭

Associate Professor


Brief Biosketch

Dr. Jingzheng Ren is currently an Associate Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He has been selected as the only winner of the 2022 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE Prize), in recognition of his scientific contribution commitment to excellence in “Innovation to achieve economic, environmental, and social goals” and Bio-Circular-Green Economy.

He received his B. Eng. and M. Eng. degrees from Chongqing University in 2008 and 2010, respectively. He received a Ph.D degree in 2015 from University of Padua. He worked as an Assistant Professor, then an Associate Professor at University of Southern Denmark before moving to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is also an Associated Senior Research Fellow of Institute for Security & Development Policy (Sweden) and was also appointed as Honorary Associate Professor of University of Southern Denmark (Denmark).

His research focuses on process systems engineering for energy, environment and sustainability. He has specialized in developing innovative industrial processes, decision-making tools and optimization models based on systems thinking to achieve sustainable and carbon-neutral industrial systems for promoting sustainability transition. He is skilled in using process systems engineering to achieve sustainability-oriented decision-making and optimization, and it can help the decision-makers to make informed decisions to achieve sustainable industrial systems with the considerations of multiple objectives, multiple dimensions, multiple scales, and multiple stakeholders. These innovative tools and models developed by him have been widely cited by researchers all over the world, and they have also attracted interests of industrial partners for dissemination and demonstration. Some of the research outcomes have been successfully used in industry for energy saving and CO2 emissions mitigation. The smart platform “Integrated industrial artificial intelligence energy management platform” wins The Highest Honor-“Excellent Prize” in 2022 Shenzhen-Hong Kong Technologies and Innovations for Ecology and Environment Exchange Conference.

He has published more than 300 publications including more than 250 SCI indexed journal papers, 1 authored book by Springer, more than 20 edited books (published by Elsevier, Springer, World Scientific Publishing and AIP, etc.), and more than 50 book chapters. All his papers were published in the top-tier journals such as Nature Series Journals (Nature Food and Nature Communications) and Cell Press Series or Partner Journals (The Innovation and STAR Protocols). As the PI, he has obtained more than 10 external grants including General Research Fund-Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), Early Career Scheme- Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), France/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme- Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF), and MTR Research Funding (MRF) as well as some grants from industry. Since 2020, according to Scopus international database he has been placed as the top 10 authors in both “sustainability” and “sustainability assessment” all over the world based on the total number of journal articles (search on title, abstract and keywords), and he is also ranked in the top 2% scientists listed in The Stanford List since 2020. The total citations reach 7700+ times in Web of Science, 9200+ times in Scopus, and 11000+ in Google Scholar, with H-index of 52, 57, and 61, respectively. The annual citations in 2021, 2022 and 2023 reached to 2000+,2100+ and 2400+ in Google Scholar, respectively. Fourteen of his papers have been selected as the ESI top 1% highly cited papers, two have been selected as the cover page papers in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research and ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, two have been highlighted as the Key Scientific Article contributing to the excellence in Energy research by Renewable Energy Global Innovations, and two papers have been highlighted as a key scientific article contributing to excellence in science and engineering research by Advances in Engineering. He also won various best paper awards, including the Science and Technology Prize of the Education Department of Henan Province -Best Paper Award (The First Prize), the Outstanding Achievement Award of Theory and Practice for Productivity in Jiangsu Province (The First Prize), the Best Paper Award (the 2nd award, prizes for contributors to leading journal on sustainability), and the Most Cited Paper Award 2019 published in Resources, Conservation & Recycling. He also won various faculty and departmental awards including Outstanding Award (Research and Scholarly Activities: Outstanding Young Researcher, Faculty Awards for Outstanding Achievement 2023) and Merit Award (Research and Scholarly Activities: Outstanding Young Researcher, Faculty Awards for Outstanding Achievement 2021), etc. He serves as the co-editor-in-chief, editor, associate editor, specialty chief editor, or section chief editors of more than 10 journals belonging to Elsevier, Springer, AIP or some other publishers as well as the guest editor of more than 20 special issues. He also served as the general chair, session chair, organizing committee member, academic member and technical committee member of more than 30 international conferences as well as referee of many journals. In addition, he is also the reviewer of many international grants.


Teaching and Research Specialties

Areas of teaching: Industrial Engineering Techniques and Methods, Optimization Modeling and Applications, and Workflow Design and Management

Areas of Research: Process System Engineering, Sustainability Engineering, Sustainable Industrial Systems, and Waste-to-Energy 


Editorialship of Journals

  1. Co-Editor-in-Chief of Environment, Development and Sustainability (Springer, SCI indexed)

  2. Subject Editor of Sustainable Production and Consumption (Elsevier, SCI indexed)

  3. Editor of Sustainable Futures (Elsevier, SCI indexed)

  4. Editor of Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management (SCI indexed)

  5. Co-Editor-in-Chief of Decision Making and Analysis

  6. Series Editor (Editor-in-Chief) of Industrial Ecology and Environmental Management in Springer Nature

  7. Series Editor (Editor-in-Chief) of Renewable Energy Fundamentals in Elsevier

  8. Specialty Chief Editor of Frontier in Sustainability

  9. Associate Editor of Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (SCI indexed, 2016-2019)

  10. Associate Editor of Journal of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development

  11. Section Chief Editor of Journal of Renewable Energy Research


Member of Editorial Board of Journals

  1. Editorial Board member of Sustainability (SCIE indexed)

  2. Editorial Board member of Thermal Science and Engineering (eISSN 2578-1782)

  3. Editorial Board member of Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Analyses

  4. Editorial Board member of International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

  5. Editorial Board member of Highlights of Sustainability

  6. Editorial Board member of AIMS Environmental Science

  7. Editorial Board member of Journal of Fuzzy Logic and Modeling in Engineering

  8. Editorial Board member of Energy, Sustainability and Society (EI and ESCI indexed)

  9. Editorial Board Member of Global Journal of Energy Technology Research Updates

  10. Editorial Board Member of Bioengineering International

  11. Editorial Board Member of Environmental Science: Research and Reviews

  12. Editorial Board Member of Eng Journal


Edited Book (selected)

  1. Ren, J, Toniolo, S. (eds.)  Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment for Decision-Making: Methodologies and Case Studies. Elsevier. Paperback ISBN: 9780128183557; eBook ISBN: 9780128183564.

  2. Ren, J. (eds.)  Waste-to-Energy: Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis and Sustainability Assessment. Elsevier. ISBN: 9780128163948.

  3. Ren, J., Wang, Y., He, C. (eds.)  Towards Sustainable Chemicals from Energy Generation Systems: Applications of Sustainability Assessment and Analysis, Design and Optimization, and Hybridization and Modularization. Elsevier. Paperback ISBN:9780128183762; eBook ISBN: 9780128189344.

  4. Ren, J. (eds.) Renewable-Energy-Driven Future: Technologies, Applications, Sustainability and Policies. Elsevier (Academic Press). Paperback ISBN: 9780128205396; eBook ISBN: 9780128205402.

  5. Ren, J., Shen, W., Man, Y., Dong, L. (eds.) Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Process Systems Engineering. Elsevier. Paperback ISBN: 9780128210925.



Published more than 250 papers (mainly focusing on systems engineering for sustainability, sustainable industrial systems and low-carbon development) in the followings following journals:

  1. Operations Management for Energy, Environmental and Sustainability (Nature Food, Nature Communications, The Innovation, STAR Protocols, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Applied Energy, Energy, Renewable Energy, Energy Conversion and Management, Fuel, Energy Policy, Energy Research & Social Science, International Journal of Energy Research, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Journal of Cleaner Production, Resources, Conservation and Recycling, Energy, Sustainability and Society, and Sustainable Production and Consumption, Journal of Environmental Management, Science of The Total Environment, Chemosphere, Atmospheric Environment, International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Energy Policy, Energy Research & Social Science, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, and Sustainable Development);
  2. Process system engineering (AIChE J, Computer & Chemical Engineering, Green Chemistry, Chemical Engineering Journal, Chemical Engineering Science, Industrial& Engineering Chemistry Research, ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, Desalination, Chemical Engineering & Processing: Process Intensification, Separation and Purification Technology, and Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, etc.); and
  3. Low-carbon Transportation and development (Transport Reviews, Journal of Air Transport Management, Transportation Research Part A, Transportation Research Part D, Technological Forecast & Social Change, and Habitat International).

The following are some representative articles (selected 10 papers as the first author or corresponding author from 10 different journals published in the past five years)

  1. Xing, J., Song, J*., Liu, C., Yang, W*., Duan, H., Yabar, H., Ren, J*. Integrated crop-livestock-bioenergy system brings co-benefits and trade-offs in mitigating the environmental impacts of Chinese agriculture. Nature Food, 2022, 3, 1052-1064

  2. Xiao, H., Bao, S., Ren, J*., Xu, Z*., Xue, S., Liu, J*. Global transboundary synergies and trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals from an integrated sustainability perspective. Nature Communications, 2024, 15, 500.

  3. Xiao, H., Xu, Z*., Ren, J*, Zhou, Y., Lin, R., Bao, S., Zhang, L., Lu, S., Lee, C.K.M., Liu, J. Navigating Chinese cities to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030. The Innovation, 2022, 3(5): 100288

  4. Ren, J*., Ren, X., Dong, L*., Manzardo, A., He, C., Pan, M. Multiactor Multicriteria Decision Making for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment under Uncertainties. AIChE J 2018; 64(6), 2103-2112.

  5. Liu, Y., Shi, T., Ren, J*, Shen, W., He, C., Toniolo, S. Sludge Valorization Process for Waste-to-Value-Added Products: Process Simulation, Sustainability Assessment, and Fuzzy Multi-Criteria Decision Making. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

  6. Ren, J.*. Life Cycle Aggregated Sustainability Index for the Prioritization of Industrial Systems Under Data Uncertainties. Computers & Chemical Engineering, 2018; 113, 253-263.

  7. Shi, T., Liu, Y., Yang, A., Sun, S., Shen,W., Ren, J*. Developing a novel gasification-based sludge-to-methanol utilization process and exergy-economic-environmental (3E) analysis. Energy Conversion and Management, 2022, 260, 115600.

  8. Ayub, Y., Ren, J*, Shi, T., Shen, W., He, C. Poultry litter valorization: Development and optimization of an electro-chemical and thermal tri-generation process using an extreme gradient boosting algorithm. Energy, 2023, 263, 125839.

  9. Liu, Y., Ren, J*, Dong, L*., Jin, Y., Man, Y. Urban sludge to value-added products for promoting the development of circular economy: Supply network design and optimization. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 2022, 182, 106317.

  10. Jin, Y.Z., Ge, X.*, Zhang, L.$, Ren, J*. A two-stage algorithm for bi-objective logistics model of cash-in-transit vehicle routing problems with economic and environmental optimization based on real-time traffic data. Journal of Industrial Information Integration, 2021,100273.


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