Professor Xun William Xu



Professor Xu received his undergraduate education from Shenyang Jianzhu University and masters degree from Dalian University of Technology, P. R. China, respectively. In 1996, he received a PhD from the University of Manchester (then, UMIST), UK.

Since then, 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. 

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

Take a Virtual Tour of LISMS



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

Research groups

Research flyers

Teaching | Current

  • MECHENG 334 - Engineering Design 3M
  • 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 - Manufacturing Information Systems

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students:

  • Saahil Chand*, "3D Vision Robotics for Industrial Automation", to complete 2023
  • Zhaojun Qin*, "Explore the self-organizing Industrial Internet of Things", to complete 2023
  • 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", to complete 2020
  • 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 2021
  • Israel Atakulu*, "Engineering Design Change Management", to complete 2020
  • S.Reza Hamzeh: "Developing an Integrated Framework for Technology Selection and Successful Implementation of INDUSTRY 4.0", to complete 2020
  • Emmanuel Flores Arriaga: "Cloud Manufacturing in the Context of Industry 4.0", to complete 2021
  • Janaka Rajapaksha*: "Simulation of engineering change management", to complete 2020
  • Jens Brinkmann*: "Integration of advanced design information with CAD to support product development", to complete 2021
  • 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", to complete 2021
  • Pauls Davis: "Fostering innovation in highly regulated industries", to complete 2020
  • Mohammad Torkaneh: "Introducing a framework for adopting New Manufacturing Paradigms to SMEs", to complete 2021
  • Yuan Lin: "Implementation of Augmented Reality in Machining Processes", to complete 2020
  • 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 2020
  • Rivai Wardhani: "Model-based Design and Manufacturing based on STEP AP242", to complete in 2020
  • Khairul Affendy Md Nor*: "Active and adaptive control of noise transmission in structures"
  • Jingchao Jiang*: "Support Optimization for Additive Manufacturing"-16
  • 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)

  • 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"




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
  • Member, New Zealand Chinese Scientist Association (NZCSA), 2005-current

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • 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
  • 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
  • Lu, Y., Wang, H., & Xu, X. (2019). ManuService ontology: a product data model for service-oriented business interactions in a cloud manufacturing environment. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 30 (1), 317-334. 10.1007/s10845-016-1250-x
    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
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ray Y Zhong
  • 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
  • Taylor, M. P., Boxall, P., Chen, J. J. J., Xu, X., Liew, A., & Adeniji, A. (2018). Operator 4.0 or Maker 1.0? Exploring the implications of Industrie 4.0 for innovation, safety and quality of work in small economies and enterprises. Computers and Industrial Engineering10.1016/j.cie.2018.10.047
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mark Taylor, Peter Boxall, John Chen, Adebayo Adeniji, Angela Liew


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 8, Room 871
New Zealand

Social links

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