Professor Runming Yao: collaborating to address global issues
Professor Runming Yao works internationally using design and engineering solutions to improve the indoor environment of buildings and their energy efficiency. She believes a global effort is required to develop a sustainable society and hopes to bridge the gap between individual countries to promote collaboration.
Runming developed the University of Reading's MSc in Design and Management of Sustainable Built Environments, to encourage the need for integrated and interdisciplinary efforts. The course aims to make students aware of the necessity to push the boundaries, and to work collaboratively between urban planning, building design, and system operation.
Working collaboratively is Runming's speciality, as she is a key contributor to large-scale projects which span the globe. One of her research projects, funded by the EPSRC and the Natural Science Foundation in China, is investigating low carbon climate-responsive heating and cooling of cities. On this project Runming works alongside three other UK universities (Cambridge, Loughborough and Imperial College), and three Chinese universities, including Chongquing University - for which she is a Global Expert Professor and PhD supervisor.
"China contributes a lot to climate change and the Chinese government are seriously taking action on that. It's not a regional issue, it's a global issue. The UK collaborates with lots of Chinese academics to solve these issues through sharing knowledge and technologies, which will also benefit the UK."
Runming believes it is important to engage students with her research, so they are able to make a difference in the future and to encourage international collaboration. The University of Reading has well-established connections with Chongqing University in China, offering scholarships and summer schools.
"I do my work in the hope that I will benefit the body of knowledge and the research society, and will create an impact that will benefit the whole world's future. Our students are the next generation and my aim is to inspire them to continue working towards these important goals."