Zero-emission and eco-friendly heating and cooling technologies

      ZEco Thermal Lab

      Dr. Jingyuan Xu, Head of “ZEco Thermal Lab”



…to the homepage of ZEco Thermal Lab led by Dr. Jingyuan Xu. At our lab, we are dedicated to advancing zero-emission and eco-friendly heating and cooling technologies for energy transition. Feel free to reach out to us — we welcome discussions, collaboration, partnerships, and inquiries. Together, let's pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future.




Shape Memory Alloys

Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) exhibit remarkable features, including the ability to return to a predetermined shape upon heating (shape memory effect) and extensive reversible deformation and thermal changes with stress (superelastic effect). Our focus is on characterizing the mechanical, thermal, and microstructural behaviors of SMAs


Elastocaloric Cooling and Heating

Elastocaloric cooling is an emerging cooling technology based on stress-induced thermal changes in shape memory alloys. This approach exhibits no environmental impact associated with leakage of the solid refrigerant, and is highly efficient. Our lab focuses on research, design, development, and prototyping of high-performance elastocaloric cooling devices.


Solar Heating and Cooling

Our lab conducts techno-economic analyses for solar-based systems for heating, power generation, and/or cooling applications, with a focus on evaluating photovoltaic, photovoltaic-thermal, and solar thermal technologies.


Thermoacoustic Technology

Thermoacoustic technology harnesses the interaction between temperature variations and acoustic waves to achieve energy conversion. Our research covers thermoacoustic heat pumps, refrigerators and power generators, as well as multi-mode systems.

Open Positions

We are actively searching for talented individuals to join our team and explore various positions aligned with our research interests. We offer opportunities in the following categories:

  • Ph.D. thesis
  • Postdoc
  • Bachelor/Master thesis
  • Visiting students/ researchers

If you are interested, please an email at jingyuan.xu∂kit.edu with a brief introduction about yourself. We highly appreciate the inclusion of your CV, transcript of records, and a list of recommendations.


We encourage talented postdocs and PhD students to apply for a fellowship in our group. Besides internal funding, we will assist in their application for an external grant. This includes

  • Humboldt Research Fellowship
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship
  • Georg Forster Research Fellowship
  • Helmholtz-OPOC Fellowship
  • CSC Scholarship
  • DAAD Scholarship




Jingyuan delivers lecture at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

On Friday, June 7, 2024, Dr. Jingyuan Xu had the honor of presenting her research on sustainable cooling and heating technologies at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Heidelberg. During the event, she was also selected to join the Young Academy of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities.

Xu Leopoldina
Jingyuan delivers lecture on sustainable cooling technology at Leopoldina

Jingyuan had the honor of presenting her research on sustainable cooling technology at the Leopoldina (German National Academy of Sciences) on Monday, March 18, 2024, in Halle (Saale). Her lecture was a highlight of the award ceremony for the Leopoldina Prize for Young Scientists, recognizing Jingyuan's research in the fields of thermodynamics and energy technology.

Cong Liu joins the team

Cong Liu is a visiting Ph.D student from Northeastern University (China) supported by CSC scholar, focusing on the martensitic transformation and relevant functional properties of shape memory alloys. With rich experience on material characterization and fabrication, he will work on the exploration of miniature scale cooling using shape memory smart materials in IMT.

Professor Sukumar Devotta visit ZEco Thermal Lab

Professor Sukumar Devotta, a highly esteemed professor in the field of refrigeration and cooling, visited ZEco Thermal Lab on March 14, 2024. As a distinguished member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, collectively honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and having previously served as the director of CSIR National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, his expertise brought invaluable insights. During his time at the lab, Professor Devotta delivered an enlightening talk on alternative refrigerants, sharing invaluable insights and providing tailored guidance to support the ongoing research efforts at ZEco Thermal Lab.

Jingyuan among panelists at the International Women's Day Forum

Jingyuan Xu, is one of the panelists at the International Women's Day Forum - Women in STEM at the International Departments of KIT. It was an incredible experience to celebrate and honor the strength, diversity and resilience of women. We believe women can achieve great things when they stand up for each other!

Kun Wang
Kun Wang joins the Team

Kun Wang earned his Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Denmark, focusing on developing the novel 3D-printed soft elastocaloric regenerators for cooling and heat pumps. Dr. Wang's expertise lies in developing cutting-edge caloric cooling systems, particularly focusing on fluidic cooling/heat-pumping mechanisms and numerical modelling of elastocaloric regenerators. He joins the team as a Postdoc and works on heat-driven elastocaloric cooling, conducting essential experiments to validate its potential.

Jingyuan Xu receives the Leopoldina Prize for young scientists

The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is honoring the engineer for thermodynamics and energy technology Jingyuan Xu for her research achievements in the field of climate-friendly cooling using elastocaloric technologies with the Leopoldina Prize for Young Scientists 2023. The award ceremony will take place on Monday, March 18, 2024, in Halle (Saale). Dr. Xu will present her research in a lecture.

More (in German)
Carl Zeiss Foundation
Dr. Jingyuan Xu from the IMT, KIT was successful with her project at the Carl Zeiss Foundation.

As part of the CZS Nexus program, she will head young investigator group and receive around 1.5 million euros for a period of five years. Dr. Xu is investigating the development of CO₂-neutral elastocaloric cooling devices that are powered by heat and represent an electricity-free alternative. The focus is on cooling in the miniature range, for example, electronic chips or temperature control of bioanalytical chips. At the same time, Dr. Xu would like to lay a foundation for future climate-neutral cooling devices in the macro sector.

More (in German)
Yi-Ting Hsiau joins the team

Equipped with a M.Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from National Taiwan University, Yi-Ting joins the team as a new PhD student. As a skillful thermo-fluid engineer with the experience in semiconductor manufacturing industry, he will work on experimental research in elastocaloric cooling as well as prototype development for future sustainable thermal management.

Xu-Research Teaserbox
Xu Zeco Teasebox