Prof. Chao graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a first class honors in Mechanical Engineering in 1988. He obtained his Master's and Doctoral degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in Thermosciences, in 1992 and 1994 respectively. He has a wide range of research interests in the areas of Built Environment, Energy and Environmental Engineering. He serves as a Regional Editor of Journal of Indoor and Built Environment and is on the editorial board of a number of other International Journals including Indoor Air, Building and Environment, and Building Simulation, etc. Prof. Chao is Director of the Building Energy Research Center (BERC). He was Associate Dean of Engineering (Research and Graduate Studies) from Sept of 2011 to June of 2014 and was Head of Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Jul 2014- May 2018. Prof. Chao is a Fellow of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (FASME), The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (FCIBSE), The Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (FHKIE) and is also a member of The Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (FISIAQ). He was Vice President (Policy) of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) from 2014 to 2016 and was the Vice President of the Indoor Air 2014 conference. Prof. Chao was a member of the Engineering Panel of the Hong Kong Research Grant Council (RGC) from 2011-2017, and also a vetting member of the Innovation and Technology Fund Research Projects Assessment Panel (Foundation Industry). He is a HKUST Senate member and also a Council member. Prof. Chao is a member of the Steering Committee of the Pilot Green Transport Fund of the Hong Kong Environment Bureau, the Building Committee of the Housing Authority, the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Council, and the Buildings Appeal Tribunal Panel.
Energy and Built Environment: Smart Green Building Technology, Adsorption Cooling and Refrigeration, Passive Radiative Cooling, Low Speed Wind Turbine, Nanofluid Heat Transfer, Contaminant Transport in Indoor Environments, Aerosol Dynamics, Infectious Disease Transmission Risk, Combustion and Fire Safety
Professor Chao has managed more than 50 research projects as Project Manager and Principal Investigator with a total research grant of over HK$100 Million since he joined HKUST in 1997. Some of the ongoing projects are listed below: