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, machines and mechanisms, mechanical engineering design, manufacturing systems, technology management, 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), and cloud manufacturing. 

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 is the founder of Manuclouds, an online Cloud Manufacturing Forum. He also has extensive knowledge in Industrie 4.0.



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
  • Intelligent and Interoperable manufacturing systems
  • STEP-compliant CAD/CAPP/CAM (STEP-NC) applications
  • Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS)
  • Industrie 4.0
  • 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 236 - Design & Manufacturing 2
  • MECHENG 334 - Engineering Design 3M
  • MECHENG 352 - Manufacturing Systems
  • MECHENG 706 - Mechatronics Design
  • MECHENG 751 - Advanced CAD/CAM/CNC
  • MECHENG 753 - Manufacturing Information Systems

Postgraduate supervision

PhD students:

  • 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
  • David Tomzik: "Cloud-based measurement and data acquisition for industrial and cyber-physical systems", to complete 2021
  • Pauls Davis: "Fostering innovation in highly regulated industries", to complete 2020
  • Jingchao Jiang: "Design for 3D Printing", to complete 2020
  • Yuan Lin: "Implementation of Augmented Reality in Machining Processes", to complete 2020
  • Geng Zhang+: "Manufacturing services configuration in the cloud manufacturing (CMfg) platform", to complete 2018
  • Changyi Deng+: "Lower power scheduling algorithm for the numerical control system", to complete 2018
  • Khamdi Mubarok: "Cloud Manufacturing for Modern Industry – an Industrie 4.0 Perspective", to complete in 2019
  • Rivai Wardhani: "Model-based Design and Manufacturing based on STEP AP242", to complete in 2019
  • Chao Liu: "Cyber-physical Machining Systems", to complete in 2018
  • Chong Deng*: "Soft-bodied Peristaltic XY Machine Table", to complete in 2018
  • Khairul Affendy Md Nor*: "Active and adaptive control of noise transmission in structures". to complete in 2018
  • Yuanbin Wang: "A Cloud-based Design for Additive Manufacturing Platform", to complete in 2017
  • Honghui Wang+: "Research on design method of CNC machining energy consumption knowledge platform based on ontology", to complete in 2017
  • Shiqiang Yu: “Product Configurator for Cloud Manufacturing”, to  complete in 2017
  • Pai Zheng*: "Customer-centric Design for Mass Personalization in OKP Companies", to complete in 2018
  • Chunyang Yu+: "PRSS-based production control in Cloud manufacturing", to complete in 2016
  • Yuqian Lu: “Development of a hybrid cloud manufacturing system”, to complete in 2016
  • Zhiqian Sang: “STEP-NC Enabled Intelligent Machining”, to complete in 2016
  • Yuanyuan Zhao+: “Ontology for Cloud-based Manufacturing”, to  complete in 2016
  • Mick (Liming) Ou: “Assembly Sequence and Resource Planning”, TBR
  • Tao Peng: “A Novel Approach Towards Energy-efficient Machining”
  • Anna Lin*: “Knowledge Management Technologies to Support Product Development in Medium Sized High Technology Enterprises”
  • Daniel Stevenson: “Development of novel hearing technologies”
  • April Li*: “Enabling technology for rapid development of high value-added customised product”
  • Jenny Xu: “Dual-Resource Constrain Scheduling Systems”
  • Aini Zuhra Abdul Kadir: “A Novel Approach Towards High-Fidelity Machining Simulation”
  • Ke Wang+: "A CNC system based on real-time Ethernet and Windows NT"
  • Xi Wang: “Development of an Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Platform”
  • 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”
  • Mohamad Bin Minhat: “Development of a STEP-NC Controller”
  • Yaoyao Fiona Zhao: “Intelligent Machining with on-line Inspection”
  • Hongqiang Derek Wang: “New Control Strategy for CNC Machines via STEP-NC”

+ -- Joint supersion with another university

* -- As a co-supervisor


Master of Engineering (Thesis)

  • 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"




  • 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)
  • Director of Intelligent and Interoperable Manufacturing Systems (IIMS) Research Group

Areas of expertise

  • 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

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Yu, C., Xu, X., & Lu, Y. (2015). Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Cyber-Physical Systems and Cloud Manufacturing - Concepts and relationships. Manufacturing Letters, 6, 5-9. 10.1016/j.mfglet.2015.11.005
  • Wang, X. V., & Xu, X. W. (2015). A collaborative product data exchange environment based on STEP. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTER INTEGRATED MANUFACTURING, 28 (1), 75-86. 10.1080/0951192X.2013.785028
  • Lu, Y., Xu, X., & Xu, J. (2014). Development of a Hybrid Manufacturing Cloud. Journal of Manufacturing Systems, 33 (4), 551-566. 10.1016/j.jmsy.2014.05.003
  • Ou, L.-M., & Xu, X. (2013). Relationship matrix based automatic assembly sequence generation from a CAD model. COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN, 45 (7), 1053-1067. 10.1016/j.cad.2013.04.002
  • Xu, X. (2012). From cloud computing to cloud manufacturing. Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, 28 (1), 75-86. 10.1016/j.rcim.2011.07.002
  • Ridwan, F., Xu, X., & Liu, G. (2012). A framework for machining optimisation based on STEP-NC. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 23 (3), 423-441. 10.1007/s10845-010-0380-9
  • Xu, X., Wang, L., & Newman, S. T. (2011). Computer-aided process planning - A critical review of recent developments and future trends. International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 24 (1), 1-31. 10.1080/0951192X.2010.518632
  • Xu, X. W. (2009). Integrating Advanced Computer-Aided Design, Manufacturing, and Numerical Control: Principles and Implementations (1st). IGI Global. Main Office. 701 E. Chocolate Avenue. Hershey, PA 17033, USA: IGI Global. Pages: 424.


Contact details

Primary location

Level 10, Room 1002
New Zealand

Social links

Web links