Yang is an environmental engineer with strong policy interests. During his PhD at Tsinghua University, China, he explored options for the decarbonization of energy infrastructure for China’s many industrial parks and modeled the environmental and economic benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation measures.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, working with Prof. Denise Mauzerall at Princeton University, Yang plans to explore the benefits of linking energy and water infrastructure by harnessing the sludge and treated water from wastewater treatment plants as alternative fuel and unconventional water source for coal-fired power plants. Yang’s pivot from environmental engineering to atmospheric science will allow him to use new assessment tools to quantify air quality improvements and improve overall health benefits.
Yang’s interest in environmental science and engineering was sparked by a huge concern in heavy pollution causing severe harm to human health and the ecosystem, specifically caused by the industrial sectors. He hopes to reshape energy and industrial systems in a more symbiotic way, by mining the nexus opportunities underlying key components.