Xiaoyang Zhong profile picture

Xiaoyang Zhong

Research Scholar

Sustainable Service Systems Research Group

Energy, Climate, and Environment Program


Xiaoyang Zhong is a research scholar in the Sustainable Service Systems research group of the IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment Program. He is deeply interested in understanding the grand challenges of our time, particularly those relating to materials, energy, and water. He initiated the first exploration into how the global sand crisis could be addressed by changing the way we develop living spaces, a perspective that sparked discussions through different lenses in the journals NatureNature Sustainability, and New Scientist. He led one of the earliest efforts in linking changes in the global energy system with the material system to advance the modeling of future environmental impacts from materials production. This involved combining tools like prospective life cycle assessment (LCA), which links Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) scenarios to LCA, and dynamic material flow analysis.

Before joining IIASA in early 2023, he was a postdoctoral researcher working on The Future Availability of Secondary Raw Materials project at the Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML) at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He completed his PhD at the same institute, with a thesis titled, Sheltering 10 billion people in a warming and resource-scarce world: challenges and opportunities. At IIASA, he works on the development of the MESSAGEix-Buildings model, and contributes to various projects such as the Alternative Pathways Toward Sustainable Development and Climate Stabilization, and the DG Grow project on Analysis of Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of EU Buildings and Construction.

Beyond his scholarly work, Zhong is passionate about making a difference for the society and his community through multiple avenues. Over the past decade and a half, he has taken on various leadership roles for multicultural associations, successfully coordinating numerous large-scale scientific, cultural, and social welfare activities. Most recently, he served as the president of the Association of Chinese Students and Scholars in Leiden, where he co-organized highly successful events such as the 2019 Talent Forum and Spring Festival Gala in the Netherlands, which drew over 1000 attendees. He also had the opportunity to discuss international cooperation on culture and research with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to the Netherlands. Zhong is strongly motivated to make his contribution to the society impactful and is committed to supporting public welfare initiatives in the long run.

Last update: 02 APR 2024


Tukker, A., Behrens, P., Deetman, S., Hu, M., Alejandre, E.M., van der Meide, M., Zhong, X., & Zhang, C. (2023). Circular construction: Six key recommendations. One Earth 6 (11) 1425-1429. 10.1016/j.oneear.2023.10.021.