F&ES 607b / 2018-2019
Advanced Methods in Industrial Ecology
Spring 2019: Time and location TBA
Modelling the Socio-Economic Metabolism
Humans have transformed the Earth’s surface to serve their production and consumption systems. While social sciences study the sphere of human decision making and behavior rooted in culture, organization, and preferences, and earth scientists study the effect of human actions on nature, industrial ecology studies the acquisition and transformation of natural resources to products, their use and disposal, and the ensuing emissions in biophysical terms. This course provides an in-depth treatment of the methods industrial ecologists have developed to study this socioeconomic metabolism. The course focuses on input-output analysis and dynamic stock-flow models of materials in products and infrastructures. It also addresses hybrid approaches, such as the combination of life-cycle assessment and input-output methods or the application of such methods in conjunction with prospective models rooted in stock-flow dynamics. The course is primarily focused on modelling tools, combining blackboard-based lectures with computer-based exercises. Modelling is conducted in MatLab. Grading is based on problem sets, a midterm and a final exam.