Assoc Professor Adrian Kuah is a research leader at both The Cairns Institute, Australia  and Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia through his pioneering directions on the circular economy.  He holds an Honorary Professor at Ecole de Commerce de Tahiti and University Fellow at Charles Darwin University where he links together JCU tropical agenda.  Between 2004 and 2010, he was faculty affiliate at Harvard Business School. He was also the MBA Director at Nottingham Business School and Director of Studies at Bradford University School of Management. He received accolades as Professor of the Week in the Financial Times.

His research addresses clusters, international management and the circular economy. His passion for sustainability and technology drives his research activities, where he represents Singapore's position at the International Organization for Standardization TC 323 Circular Economy through the Singapore Standards Council. He is also part of the University's Sustainable Development Working Group considering the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through the University's SDG Implementation Plan. He sits in the Circular Economy Committee at the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, for which he inaugurated a national competition supporting Singapore’s Year toward zero waste. His latest book on how "Digital Transformation in a Post Covid World" impacts people, processes, the planet and our prosperty will be published by the Taylor & Francis Group in October 2021.

Assoc Prof Kuah received his B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, an MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School, and a PhD in Business Administration from Alliance Manchester Business School. Grounded in both Business and Engineering disciplines, he contriburtes to high impact journals such as EJM, JCLP, JBR and STOTEN.  Some of his recent works cover consumer perceptions toward remanufactured goods (JBR, SSCI Impact Factor =5.35, SJR=1.684) and recovery of material circular economy (STOTEN, SCI Impact Factor =5.90, SJR=1.536). To-date, he has received close to $900,000 of external funding toward his research, mainly as principal investigator where he provides resource leadership. 

He is supervising several PhD in Management & Commerce candidates on circular economy and corporate voluntering at the Singapore campus of James Cook University. He is seeking expression of interest from potential PhD candidates with research experience to join his research team. For more information of his seminal work and media interviews, please visit his Website

Engagements & Outreach

  • Adrian participated in the 2nd Plenary Meeting for International Organization for Standardization TC 323, alongside world experts and other national standards bodies, between 15 and 19 June 2020, as well as contributed towards ISO/PWI 59004 and TR 59031. The Singapore mission was led by Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Standards Council.
  • He was invited as panel speaker in the discussion titled “Smart Synergies: Business, Technology and Education”, together with Professor Agostino Bruzzone of the University of Genoa, Dr Nicola Bianchi, Scientific Attaché of the Italian Embassy and  Dr Giulio Gennaro, Chief Executive Officer at 1888 Gennaro Consulting on 1 November 2019 at James Cook University Singapore Campus. 

  • The Singapore International Chamber of Commerce joined forces with James Cook University Singapore organised a Circular Economy and Sustainability Competition in 2019. The half-year national competition concluded with a high note on 25 October 2019.

  • Also in October 2019, Adrian brought a team of JCU professoriate to showcase Queensland’s Advanced Manufacturing and Circular Economy capabilities in a rare meeting with the World Economic Forum. The successful meeting was organised by the Office of Queensland Chief Entrepreneur.

  • The National University of Singapore invited Adrian to partake in a lively 3-hour Panel Discussion “Opportunities and Gaps in the Circular Economy” livestream around the world on 29 August 2019. The conference, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, with its recording will be reproduced into a U.S. documentary.

  • He was also invited to deliver a keynote on circular economy and sustainable economic development at the Symposium on Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Development at the Cairns Institute on July 2019. The Australian Win TV interviewed him at the 6pm News.

  • In 2017, Adrian delivered James Cook University Singapore Public Lecture 2017 titled “The Rise and Fall of Mega e-commerce Markets”. The event was attended by more than 250 participants. He also delivered a seminar on the same topic at the Asian Consumer Insights at the Nanyang Technological University.

Media Mentions 

  • WIN TV News, Australia
  • Cairns Post and Queensland Times, Australia
  • Straits Times, Singapore
  • Eco-Business.com, Singapore
  • Financial Times, United Kingdom
  • Xinhua News Agency, China

Peer Review 


  • LB5113: Corporate Strategy (Level 5; SIN)
  • LB5236: International Political Economy (Level 5; SIN)
  • Circular Economy comprising inter alia, remanufacturing, recycling, servitization, sharing economy and product design for longevity
  • Sustainability Grand Challenges including, inter alia, climate change transition, sustainable livelihoods, sustainable infrastructure, and sustainability reporting
  • 2020 - JCU CBLG Research Recognition Award: 3 or more ABDC publications in one calendar year
  • 2019 - JCU TropEco Excellence Award: Addressing Sustainable Development Goals
  • 2014 - Oxford Scholarship Online
  • 2013 - Financial Times Professor of the Week (28 May 2013)
  • 2008 - Bradford University School of Management - Dean's List of Outstanding Faculty Award
  • 2003 - Manchester Federal School of Business and Management Conference 2003 - Best Synopsis Prize
  • 2002 - Manchester Federal School of Business and Management Conference 2002 - Best Synopsis Prize
  • 1998 - Strathclyde MBA - Gold Medal for Best Dissertation
  • 2019 - Professor (ADJ), L'Ecole de Commerce de Tahiti, PF
  • 2017 to 2020 - University Fellow, Charles Darwin University, AUS
  • 2011 to 2019 - Fellow, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, AUS
  • 2012 to 2017 - Fellow, Grenoble Ecole de Management, France
  • 2010 to 2017 - Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK
  • 2010 to 2017 - Fellow, Chartered Management Institute, UK
  • 2010 to 2017 - Fellow, College of Preceptors, UK
  • 2009 to 2012 - Fellow, Advanced Institute of Management Research, UK
  • 2010 to 2012 - International Theme Committee, Committee Member, Academy of Management, US.

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 40+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Adrian Kuah from 2002 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • A Comparative Study of the Circular Economy in Asian Setting: The Experiences of Singapore, Shanghai and Seoul (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Millennial Employees, a key Cornerstone to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in small and medium Enterprises (SMEs): Evolving a Unique Social Responsibility Identity! A Regional Comparison of four Countries: Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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