Wei-Qiang Chen, Professor

Prof. Wei-Qiang Chen is currently a professor of Sustainability Science in the Institute of Urban Environment (IUE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Before joining CAS, he was working at the Center for Industrial Ecology, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies for five years. He was one of the five initiators of the “2014 Chinese Environmental Scholars Forum” held at Harvard University and the lead organizer of the “2015 Chinese Environmental Scholars Forum” held at Yale University. He is on the board of the Sustainable Urban System section of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, was the president of the Chinese Society for Industrial Ecology (July 2015-Dec. 2016), and is associate editor of Resources, Conservation, and Recycling (July. 2016-present). His research interests include industrial ecology and urban ecology, specifically on material/substance flow analysis, urban metabolism, urban mining, and global trade networks of materials. His studies have been published in PNAS, Environmental Science & Technology, and other first level journals.


  • Ph.D., Environmental Science & Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2010
  • Exchange Student, Venice International University, Italy, 2006
  • B.S., Environmental Engineering, Tsinghua University, China, 2004

Representative publications

  • Ma, Z.-J.; Ryberg W. Morten.; Wang, P.; Tang, L.-B.; and Chen, W.-Q. . China’s Import of Waste PET Bottles Benefited Global Plastic Circularity and Environmental Performance. ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2020 8 (45), 16861-16868.
  • Wang, Q.-C.; Wang, P.; Qiu, Yang.; Dai, T; and Chen, W.-Q. . Byproduct Surplus: Lighting the Depreciative Europium in China’s Rare Earth Boom. Environmental Science & Technology. 2020.276:124221.
  • Xu, W.; Chen, W.-Q.; Jiang, D.-Q.; Zhang, C.; Ma, Z.-J.; Ren, Y.; and Shi, L. Evolution of the global polyethylene waste trade system. Ecosystem Health and Sustainability. 2020, 6 (1): 1-16.
  • Song, L.-L.; Wang, P.; Hao, M.; Dai, M.; Xiang, K.-Y.; Li, N.; and Chen, W.-Q. Mapping provincial steel stocks and flows in China: 1978-2050. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2020, 262: 121393.
  • Yang, Y.; Liu, B.-B.; Wang, P.; Chen, W.-Q.; and Smith, T.-M. Toward Sustainable Climate Change Adaptation. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 2020, 24 (2): 318-330.*