TAO Xiao-ming - Vincent and Lily Woo Professor in Textile Technology (Prof.)
Chair Professor of Textile Technology
E-mail xiao-ming.tao@polyu.edu.hk
Tel 2766 6470
Room QT719
Prof. Tao is Chair Professor of Textile Technology, Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University since 2002. Currently she holds the prestigious Vincent and Lily Woo Endowed Professorship in Textile Technology generously supported by the Vincent and Lily Woo Trust. She obtained a BEng in textile engineering from East China Institute of Textile Science and Technology with a 1st class prize; and a PhD in textile physics from University of New South Wales in Australia. Prof. Tao is the past World President from 2007 to 2010, an elected Fellow of the Textile Institute, elected Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineering and elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Design and Commercial Applications, UK. Prof. Tao is Editor-in-Chief for Handbook of Smart Textiles by Springer and serves on Editorial Board of more than 10 key academic journals of the field.

Prof. Tao is internationally known for her leading research work on intelligent fibrous materials, nanotechnology, photonic fibres and fabrics, flexible electronic and photonic devices, yarn manufacturing and textile composites. Prof. Tao has conducted numerous research projects and published more than 600 scientific publications including over 200 international journal papers and 5 research monographs. Her published work has been cited for more than 7000 times, being recognized by ISI as one of the top 1% most cited materials scientists in the world. Prof. Tao has been invited to deliver plenary/keynote presentations in over 90 international conferences. Among more than 30 awards received by Prof. Tao, the most prestigious ones include the Honorary Fellowship of Textile Institute in 2011, the highest individual award in textiles, and Founder’s Award by Fiber Society of USA in 2013, the highest individual award in the field of fiber science and technology.

Being a great devotee of scientific discovery, Prof. Tao has led a team of prolific inventors of new technologies, with twenty three granted international and national patents. Ten of the invented technologies have been licensed to companies worldwide for industrial applications. One of them, Nu-torque single spun yarn technology, has been used by eleven yarn manufacturing companies around the world and produced new textile and apparel products worth over 10.5 billion Hong Kong dollars from 2005 to 2013. Licensing the new technologies developed by our STAR group, several spin-off technology companies have been established by her past graduates in Hong Kong and China. One of these young spin-offs, AdvanPro Ltd who specializes in fabric-based electronic technologies, was selected by Microsoft as a member company in its famous global innovation incubation program in 2014.

Prof. Tao also loves literature, opera and arts. She personally promotes the cross-fertilization of integration of science and arts through her research. The STAR’s photonic fabrics created by integrating science and arts together were invited to exhibit in Tokyo Museum of Future and Hong Kong Art Museum.

Prof. Tao was the Head of Institute of Textiles and Clothing from 2003 to 2011. During this period of time, she guided the Institute in its endeavor to become one of the leading fashion and textile departments in the world. She founded the Nanotechnology Centre for Functional and Intelligent Textile and Apparel. By working closely with the industry, Prof. Tao successfully led the PolyU team to win an ITF grant of over HK$330 million for hosting Hong Kong Research Centre for Textiles and Clothing, the largest single research grant that the University has ever received. As Principal Investigator, she has successfully attracted research grants over 137 million Hong Kong dollars in the last 20 years.


BEng in Textile Engineering, East China Institute of Textile Science and Technology, China, 1982
PhD in Textile Physics, University of New South Wales, Australia, 1987

Area of Specialization (Teaching & Research)

Areas of expertise

Fibrous Materials
Yarn manufacturing
Textile Science and Technology
Smart Textiles and Apparel
Flexible Electronics and Photonics

Teaching Activities

(a) Subjects Taught (for the past 3 years)

  Year Subject title Level
  2014-2015 Advanced Textile Studies BA
    Yarn Technology BA
    Smart Textiles and Apparel PhD/MPhil
  2013-2014 Advanced Textile Studies BA
    Yarn Technology BA
  Smart Textiles and Apparel PhD/MPhil
   2012-2013 Advnaced Textile Studies BA
    Smart Textiles and Apparel PhD/MPhil

(b) Supervision of Research Postgraduate Students

      Completed 31 PhDs, 3 MPhils
      Ongoing 6 PhDs

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Selected Research Projects as Principal Investigator:
1.               Manufacturing technologies for green textiles with high added values, HKRITA and 5 companies, 2014.
2.               Tribological study of textile based electronic devices, RGC GRF, 2014.
3.               Study of fiber based electric power generators, RGC GRF, 2013.
4.               Intelligent monitoring system for physiological and mechanical signals in sport of weight lifting, HKRITA, 2013.
5.               Trial: “Nanotechnology Centre for functional and intelligent textiles and apparel”, ITF, 2013.
6.               The key technologies study of deformable bionic search robots with electric fabric skin, RGC/NSFC, 2012.
7.               Electronic control system for Nu-torque technology, 1 company, 2012.
8.               Development of low twist fine count yarns and fabrics from Australian long staple upland cotton, Australian Cotton Inc., 2011.
9.               Multi-functional intelligent footwear system for patients with diabetic foot syndrome, HK RGC GRF, 2011.
10.            Monitoring patients with diabetic foot syndrome by intelligent footwear system, HKRITA, 2011.
11.            In-situ multi-parameter evaluation system for smart protective apparel under high speed impact, HKRITA and 3 companies, 2010.
12.            Multi-functional and intelligent textiles and Apparel, 2009.
13.            Small sized fiber sensors, HKRITA and 4 companies, 2008.  
14.            Fabric pressure sensors for three dimensional surface, HKRITA and 4 companies, 2007.
15.            Nu-torque worsted yarn technology, AWI and a company, 2005.
16.            Finer yarn production, HKRITA and 2 companies, 2006.
17.            Structure and properties of interactive fabrics, HK RGC CERG, 2007.
18.            Nanotechnology center for functional and intelligent textiles and apparel, HK ITF and six HK companies, 2004.

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Publications / Exhibitions

1.             Li Q and Tao XM, 2014. Three-dimensionally Deformable, Highly Stretchable, Permeable, Durable and Washable Fabric Circuit Boards, Royal Society Proceedings A, 470(2171), 2014472.
2.             Zeng W, Shu L, Li Q, Chen S, Wang F and Tao XM, 2014. Fiber-based wearable electronics: a review of materials, fabrication, devices and applications, Advanced Materials. 26(31):5310-5336.
3.             Wang DH, Hu Y , Zhao JJ, Zeng LL, Tao, XM, Chen W, 2014. Holey reduced graphene oxide nanosheets for high performance room temperature gas sensing, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 2(41):17415-17420.
4.             Zeng W, Tao XM, Chen S, Shang SM, Chan HLW, Choy SH, 2013. Highly durable all-fiber nanogenerator for mechanical energy harvesting, Energy and Environmental Science, 6 (9), 2631 – 2638.
5.             Wang F, Zhu B, Shu Lin and Tao XM, 2014. Flexible pressure sensors for smart protective clothing against impact loading, Smart Materials and Structures, 23(1), 015001.
6.             Shen J, Chui CH,Tao XM, 2013.Luminous fabric devices for wearable low-level light therapy, Biomedical Optics Express, 4(12), pp.2925-2937.
7.             Wang DH, Gu W, Zhang YW, Hu Y, Zhang T, Tao XM, Chen W, 2014. Novel C-rich carbon nitride for room temperature NO2 gas sensors, RSC Advances, 4, 18003-18006.
8.             Zhang YW, Wang DH, Ge J, Wang L, Ding F, Tao XM and Chen W, 2013. Manageable N-doped graphene for high performance oxygen reduction reaction, Scientific Reports, 3, 2771. DOI 10.1038/srep02771.
9.             Zhang ZF, Tao XM, 2013. Synergetic Effects of Humidity and Temperature on PMMA Based Fiber Bragg Gratings, Journal of Lightwave Technology , 30(6): 841-845, 2012
10.          Liu H, Tao XM, PJ Xu, Zhang H, Bao ZQ, 2013. A dynamic measurement system for evaluating dry bio-potential surface electrodes, Measurement, 46(6): 1904-1913.
11.          Zhang ZF and Tao XM, 2013. Intrinsic temperature sensitivity of fiber Bragg gratings in PMMA-based optical fibers, IEEE Photonic Technology Letters, 25(3):310-312.
12.          Ying DQ, Tao XM, Zheng W, Wang GF, 2013. Fabric strain sensor integrated with looped polymeric optical fiber with large angled V-shaped notches, Smart Materials and Structures, 22(1):015004.
13.          Li SY, Xu BG and Tao XM, 2013. Dynamic modelling and evaluation for constituent fibers in fabrication of twisted flexible yarns with consideration of fiber mass and viscoeleasticity, Journal of Material Science, 48(3):1090-1099.
14.          Feng J, Xu BG and Tao XM, 2013. Systematic investigation and optimization of fine cotton yarns produced in a modified ring spinning system using statistical method, Textile Research Journal, 83(3):238-248.
15.          Hu Y, Wang GF, Tao XM and Chen W, 2011. Low voltage-driven sustainable weightlifting actuator based on polymer-nanotube composite, Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 212915):1671-1676.
16.          Guo Y, Tao XM, Xu BG and Wang SY, 2011. A continuous measurement system for yarn structure by optic method, Measurement Science and Technology, 21:115706.
17.          Guo Y, Tao XM, Xu BGand Wang SY, 2011. Structural Characteristics of Low Torque and Ring Spun Yarns, Textile Research Journal, 81(8):778-790.
18.          Shang SM, Zeng W, Tao XM, 2011. High stretchable MWNTs/polyurethane conductive nanocomposites, Journal of Material Chemistry, 21(10).
19.          Wang YY, Hua T, Zhu B, Li Q, Yi WJ and Tao XM, 2011. Novel fabric pressure sensors: design, fabrication and characterization, Smart Materials and Structures, 20, 065015
20.           Chang HX, Wang GF, Yang A, Tao XM, Liu XQ, Shen YD, and Zheng ZJ, 2010. Transparent, flexible, low-temperature and solution processible graphene composite electrode, Advanced Functional Materials, 20(17).
21.           Zhang ZF, Zhang C, Tao XM, Wang GF, Peng GD, 2010. Inscription of Polymer Optical Fibre Bragg Grating at 962 nm and its Potential in Strain Sensing, IEEE Photonic Technology Letters, 22(21):1562-1564.
22.          Yang XM, Li LA, Shang SM, Tao XM, 2010. Synthesis and characterization of layer-aligned poly(vinyl alcohol)/graphene nanocomposites, Polymer, 51(15).
23.          Shang SM, Yang XM and Tao XM, 2009. Easy synthesis of carbon nanotubes with polypyrrole nanotubes as the carbon precursor, Polymer, 50(13).
24.          Wang GF, Tao XM and Wang RX, 2008. Flexible organic light-emitting diodes with a polymeric nanocomposite anode, Nanotechnology, 19(14), 145201.
25.          Kwan KC, Tao XM and Peng GD, 2007. Transition of lasing modes in disordered active photonic crystals, Optics Letters, 32(18), p2720-2722.
26.          Yan A, Tao XM, Wang RX, Lee SC and Surya C, 2007. Room temperature sensing properties of SnO2 and multi-wall carbon nanotube composite nanofibers, Applied Physics Letters, 91(13), 133110.
27.          Yu JM, Tao XM and Tam HY, 2004. Trans-4-stilbenemethanol-doped Photosensitive Polymer Optical Fiber for Grating Fabrication, Optics Letters, 29(2), 156-158.
28.          Tao XM and Xu BG, Torque free ring yarns and production methods, US patent 6,860,095 2005.
29.          Tao XM, 2005. Ed. “Wearable electronics and Photonics”, Woodhead Publishing Co., Cambridge, UK and CRC, USA.
30.          Tao XM, Troster G, and Diamond D, 2006. Ed. “Smart Nano-textiles”, Symposium Proceeding of Materials Research Society, Vol.920, USA.
31.          Tao XM, 2001. Ed. “Smart Fibres, Fabrics and Clothing – Fundamentals and Applications”, Woodhead Publishing Co., Cambridge, UK.

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Academic Awards and Other Achievements


1.     Founder’s Award, Fiber Society, USA, 2013.
2.     Honorary Fellowship, Textile Institute International, UK, 2011.
3.     Innovation Achievement Award, National Innovation Society of China, 2014.
4.     Application Excellence Award, Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel, 2013.
5.     China National Textile Council Scientific Award (1st Class), 2009.
6.     Excellence Award, Optical fiber no.1, the 6th International Fiber Arts Biennale Exhibition, China, 2010.
7.     Gold Medal Award and Price of Ukraine, Economic Production of Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes on a Large Scale, 2009.
8.     Brussels Mayor's Invention Award- Commander of Brussels: RadianFabTM - Nano-structured photonic fibers and fabrics, 2007.
9.     National Outstanding Engineering Patent Award, “Nu-Torque Yarn, production Machinery, Technology and Products”, China, 2006.
10. Technical Fabrics Excellence Award, Cellular textile composites for energy absorption, Industrial Fabrics Association International, USA, 2002.
11. President’s Award for Outstanding Performance/Achievement 2000 – Research and Scholarly Activities, HK PolyU.
Selected Achievements in Public, Governmental and Professional Services
1.     Editor-in-Chief, Handbook of Smart Textiles, Springer, Germany. 2013 – present.
2.     World President (2007-2010), Textile Institute International, UK .
3.     Editor-in-Chief, Textile Progress, Textile Institute International, UK, 2005- 2013 .
4.     Chair, the 86th World Textile Conference, Hong Kong, 2008.
5.     Member of Hong Kong Research Assessment Panel (Engineering) in 2006 and 2014.
6.     External assessor for large research grants including EU’s FP7, UK’s SPERC and RHRB, Australian RC, Japan AoE by MEC and HK RGC.
7.     Hong Kong Research Institute of Textile and Apparel, Director, Board of Directors , 2006 - present.

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Last Updated on 17 Nov 2014