Professor Xun William Xu



Dr. Xu joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Univeristy of Auckland in 1996 after obtaining a PhD from the University of Manchester (then, UMIST), UK.  He has been working at the University of Auckland as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and now Professor.  His teaching at the Department of Mechanical Engineering cuts across a number of fields, e.g, mechanical engineering design, manufacturing systems, advanced manufacturing technology, manufacturing information systems and advanced CAD/CAM/CNC.

Professor Xu's main research focuses are on computer-aided design, process planning and manufacturing, in particular STEP-compliant CNC (STEP-NC), cloud manufacturing, smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0. 

Professor Xu set up the first Industry 4.0 laboratory in New Zealand, Laboratory for Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing Systems (LISMS), and leads one of top research teams (IIMS research group ) in the world working in the field of STEP-compliant design and manufacturing.

In 2020, Professor Xu was listed as one of the 20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing in the world.

Take a Virtual Tour of LISMS

A new course on Industry 4.0: "Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing"



PhD in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), University of Manchester (then University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)), England164x164
ME in Computer-Aided Design, Dalian University of Technology, China
BE in Manufacturing Engineering, Shenyang Jianzhu University, China

Research | Current

  • Cloud manufacturing
  • Industrie 4.0
  • Intelligent and Interoperable manufacturing systems
  • STEP-compliant CAD/CAPP/CAM (STEP-NC) applications
  • Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) and Digital Twins
  • Internet of Things and Internet of Services
  • Additive manufacturing (3D printing)
  • Virtual prototyping
  • Computer integrated manufacturing
  • Machining simulation
  • Product design and innovation
  • Manufacturing techniques - machinability analysis, metal cutting theory and cutting tool design
  • Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
  • Product Data Management (PDM)
  • Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Reverse engineering

Some research projects on offer at

Research groups

Research flyers

Teaching | Current

  • MECHENG 352 - Manufacturing Systems
  • MECHENG 709 - Industrial Automation
  • MECHENG 710 - Advanced Industrial Automation
  • MECHENG 751 - Advanced CAD/CAM/CNC
  • MECHENG 752 - Technology Management
  • MECHENG 753 - Advanced Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing
  • MECHENG 754 - Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students:

  • Tang Ji, "Cognitive Digital Twin", to complete 2024
  • Bilal Shabbir Chohan, "Industry 4.0 redefines MES", to complete 2024
  • Jiaxu Niu*, "Personalised Operator Assistant in Product Assembly via Augmented Reality", to complete 2024
  • Anton Averyanov*, "Development of an Autonomous Sorting System for Recycling Rubbish", to complete 2024
  • Into Jacob, "Cloud Manufacturing in the era of Industry 4.0", to complete 2024
  • Saahil Chand*, "3D Vision Robotics for Industrial Automation", to complete 2023
  • Zhaojun Qin*, "Explore the self-organizing Industrial Internet of Things", to complete 2023
  • Jiusi Jia*, "Coordination Models for Effectively Managing Engineering Design and Development Projects", to complete 2024
  • Xiaolin (Echo) Xi+, "Research on Deformation Control Technology of  Blade Machining Based on Stiffness Matching", to complete 2021
  • Wei Fan+, "Adaptive finishing operation for the assembly interface of the large-scale thin-walled component"
  • Simon (Yuk Lun) Chan. "Critical Evaluation on Additive Manufacturing of Injection Moulding Tools", to complete 2022
  • Huiyue Huang, "Digital Twin Technologies for Smart Manufacturing", to complete 2022
  • Zexuan Zhu, "iWindow - Intelligent Machine Window based on Augmented Reality for Machine Tools", to complete 2022
  • Shohin Aheleroff, "Internet of Things Personalized Products in Industry 4.0", to complete 2022
  • Israel Atakulu*, "Engineering Design Change Management" -18
  • S.Reza Hamzeh: "Developing an Integrated Framework for Technology Selection and Successful Implementation of INDUSTRY 4.0" - 17
  • Emmanuel Flores Arriaga: "Cloud Manufacturing in the Context of Industry 4.0", to complete 2022
  • Janaka Rajapaksha*: "Simulation of engineering change management", to complete 2020
  • Jens Brinkmann*: "Integration of advanced design information with CAD to support product development"
  • Christoph Hinze+: "Cloud-based robot control architecture for the interaction with soft objects", to complete 2021
  • David Tomzik: "Cloud-based data acquisition and control for industrial and cyber-physical systems interacting with soft objects" -16
  • Pauls Davis: "Innovation Ecosystem and New Zealand Firms"
  • Yuan Lin: "Implementation of Augmented Reality in Machining Processes", to complete 2022
  • Geng Zhang+: "Manufacturing services configuration in the cloud manufacturing (CMfg) platform"
  • Khamdi Mubarok: "Cloud Manufacturing for Modern Industry – an Industrie 4.0 Perspective", to complete in 2022
  • Rivai Wardhani: "Model-based Design and Manufacturing based on STEP AP242", to complete in 2022
  • Khairul Affendy Md Nor*: "Active and adaptive control of noise transmission in structures"
  • Jingchao Jiang*: "Support Optimization for Additive Manufacturing"
  • Chao Liu: "Cyber-physical Machining Systems"-15
  • Chong Deng*: "Soft-bodied Peristaltic XY Machine Table"
  • Changyi Deng+: "Lower power scheduling algorithm for the numerical control system"
  • Yuanbin Wang: "A Cloud-based Design for Additive Manufacturing Platform"-14
  • Honghui Wang+: "Research on design method of CNC machining energy consumption knowledge platform based on ontology"
  • Shiqiang Yu: “Product Configurator for Cloud Manufacturing”-13
  • Pai Zheng: "Customer-centric Design for Mass Personalization in OKP Companies"-12
  • Chunyang Yu+: "PRSS-based production control in Cloud manufacturing"
  • Yuqian Lu: “Development of a hybrid cloud manufacturing system”-11
  • Zhiqian Sang: “STEP-NC Enabled Intelligent Machining”-10
  • Yuanyuan Zhao+: “Ontology for Cloud-based Manufacturing”
  • Azwan Azmi*: “Machinability Study of Composite Materials in End Milling Using Taguchi-Fuzzy Logic Techniques.”
  • Mick (Liming) Ou: “Assembly Sequence and Resource Planning”, TBR
  • Tao Peng: “A Novel Approach Towards Energy-efficient Machining”-9
  • Anna Lin*: “Knowledge Management Technologies to Support Product Development in Medium Sized High Technology Enterprises”
  • Daniel Stevenson: “Development of novel hearing technologies”-8
  • April Li*: “Enabling technology for rapid development of high value-added customised product”
  • Jenny Xu: “Dual-Resource Constrain Scheduling Systems”-7
  • Aini Zuhra Abdul Kadir: “A Novel Approach Towards High-Fidelity Machining Simulation”-6
  • Ke Wang+: "A CNC system based on real-time Ethernet and Windows NT"
  • Xi Wang: “Development of an Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Platform”-5
  • Terry Yu Zhang+: “Web-based Machining Simulation”
  • Alireza Mokhtar+: "Feature interactions for prismatic parts in STEP-NC"
  • Firman Ridwan: “STEP-NC Enabled Machine Condition Monitoring”-4
  • Mohamad Bin Minhat: “Development of a STEP-NC Controller”-3
  • Yaoyao Fiona Zhao: “Intelligent Machining with on-line Inspection”-2
  • Hongqiang Derek Wang: “New Control Strategy for CNC Machines via STEP-NC”-1

+ -- Joint supersion with another university

* -- As a co-supervisor


Master of Engineering (Thesis)

  • Summer Xia, "Demonstrative Research on Practical Use of BIM for Building Data Connectivity"
  • Anton Averyanov: "A Cyber-Physical Lathe for Intelligent Manufacturing"
  • Ziwei Su: "Resource availability in cloud manufacturing"
  • Tsubasa Kubota: "Cyber-physical machine tool based on STEP-NC"
  • Reuben Schuitemaker: "Data Tracebility"
  • Qiankun Sun: "3D printer as a cyber-physical system"
  • Hrishikesh Vengayil: "Internet of Things-enabled Real-time visibility in Industry 4.0"
  • Milinda Jayasekera: "Assembly validation via 3-D Motion Control and VR Technologies"
  • Robert Schaefer: "Developing practical methods for measuring mechanical performance of 3D printed parts"
  • Maximilian Schiller: “Smart visualisation for cyber-physical machine tools”
  • Pruthvi Raj Veerla: “Improving the Interoperability of CAD/CAM Data”
  • Simon Yuk-Lun Chan: “Optimisation in high-speed machining of hardened steel using Minimum Quantity Lubricant (MQL)”
  • Qun Shao: “Industrial Ontology for Cloud Manufacturing”
  • Yin Zhang: “CAM Data Interoperability”
  • Pingzeshi He: “Adaptive STEP-NC Interpreter for Feature-Based Machining on an EMCO Mill”
  • Bins Jo Pappachan: “STEP-NC Feature Based EMCO Mill”
  • Horace Guo: “Computer Aided Quality Function Deployment For Rapid Development Of Customised Products”
  • Smit Shah (Hon): “Web-based QFD System”
  • M.P.Lankeshwara (Hon): “STEP-NC Enabled GibbsCAM”
  • Salah Habeeb (Hon): “STEP-compliant CNC Lathe”
  • Fiona Zhao (Hon): “Close-Loop Manufacturing”
  • Michael Segetin (Hon): “Flax Fibre Extraction and Fibre-reinforced Composites”
  • Yanyan Wang: “Development of a Manufacturing Database for STEP-compliant Collaborative CAPP System”
  • Liqing Chen  (Hon): “Decision Support System for Product Lifecycle Costing”
  • Jin Mao (Hon): “STEP Compliant Collaborative Product Development”
  • Qiuliang He: “Integrating Design with Manufacturing via STEP-NC”
  • Mahmood Ghadiri: “CAD-Driven Reverse Engineering Using STEP-NC”
  • Hao Shen (Hon): “Computerising Scanned Engineering Documents”
  • Michael Jou, “Development of a Design-for-Environment System"
  • Dongbin Zheng: “Development of a Smart Enterprise”
  • Tony Di-Jen Liu: “Development of a Web-enabled PDM System”
  • Yutian Brian Bai (Hon): “Computerising Scanned Engineering Documents"




  • Member, the NAMRI | SME (North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME) Board of Directors, (2022-)
  • Chair-Elect, NAMRI | SME Scientific Committee, (2022-2024)
  • Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Engineering, University of Auckland. (2016-2018)
  • Programme Leader, Innovative Manufacturing and Materials (IMM) Programme, University of Auckland. (2011-2014)
  • Deputy Head of Mechanical Engineering Department (Research). (2011-2014)
  • Head of Laboratory for Industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing Systems (LISMS) 
  • Director of Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Systems (IIMS) Research Group

Areas of expertise

  • Industry 4.0
  • Digital twin
  • Intelligent and interoperable manufacturing solutions
  • Advanced manufacturing technologies
  • STEP-compliant CAD/CAPP/CAM (STEP-NC) applications
  • CAD/CAM data interoperability
  • Cloud manufacturing
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Energy-efficient manufacturing
  • Product innovation
  • 3D digitisation and reverse engineering
  • Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Professional affiliations

  • President, New Zealand Chinese Scientist Association (NZCSA), 2009-2011

My publications on:

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Yu, C., Xu, X., Yu, S., Sang, Z., Yang, C., & Jiang, X. (2020). Shared manufacturing in the sharing economy: Concept, definition and service operations. COMPUTERS & INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING, 14610.1016/j.cie.2020.106602
  • Lu, Y., Liu, C., Wang, K. I.-K., Huang, H., & Xu, X. (2020). Digital Twin-driven smart manufacturing: Connotation, reference model, applications and research issues. ROBOTICS AND COMPUTER-INTEGRATED MANUFACTURING, 6110.1016/j.rcim.2019.101837
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Kevin I-Kai Wang, Yuqian Lu
  • Ahel Eroff, S., Polzar, J., Huang, H., Zhu, Z., Tomzik, D., Lu, Y., ... Xu, X. (2020). Smart manufacturing based on Digital Twin technologies. In C. Machado, J. P. Davim (Eds.) Industry 4.0 Challenges, Trends, and Solutions in Management and Engineering (pp. ). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group. 10.1201/9781351132992-3
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Shohin Aheleroff, David Tomzik
  • Lu, Y., & Xu, X. (2019). Cloud-based manufacturing equipment and big data analytics to enable on-demand manufacturing services. ROBOTICS AND COMPUTER-INTEGRATED MANUFACTURING, 57, 92-102. 10.1016/j.rcim.2018.11.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yuqian Lu
  • Liu, C., Vengayil, H., Lu, Y., & Xu, X. (2019). A Cyber-Physical Machine Tools Platform using OPC UA and MTConnect. JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS, 51, 61-74. 10.1016/j.jmsy.2019.04.006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yuqian Lu
  • Yu, C., Zhang, W., Xu, X., Ji, Y., & Yu, S. (2018). Data mining based multi-level aggregate service planning for cloud manufacturing. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 29 (6), 1351-1361. 10.1007/s10845-015-1184-8
  • Liu, C., Vengayil, H., Zhong, R. Y., & Xu, X. (2018). A systematic development method for cyber-physical machine tools. JOURNAL OF MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS, 48, 13-24. 10.1016/j.jmsy.2018.02.001
  • Wang, H., Xu, X., Zhang, C., & Hu, T. (2018). A hybrid approach to energy-efficient machining for milled components via STEP-NC. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 31 (4-5), 442-456. 10.1080/0951192X.2017.1322220


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 8, Room 871
New Zealand

Social links

Web links