University of Nova Gorica

Optimization Procedures in Environmental Protection

March 2011





Course Description


         By studying the flow of materials and energy through industrial systems, industrial ecology identifies economic ways to lessen negative environmental impacts, chiefly by reducing pollution at the source, minimizing energy consumption, designing for the environment, and promoting sustainability.

         The objective of this course is to examine the extent to which environmental concerns have affected specific industries, to evaluate the benefits of prevention over compliance, and to discern where additional progress can be made.  With the emphasis on technology as a source of both problems and solutions, a broad spectrum of industrial activities is reviewed, ranging from low-design high-volume commodities to high-design low-volume products.

         Student activities include critical review of various articles, participation in class discussions, and a term project in design for the environment.




Prof. Benoit Cushman-Roisin

Thayer School of Engineering

Dartmouth College

Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA

            Tel: 1-603-646-3248

            Fax: 1-603-646-3856                                                 


Course Format


            1. Readings & Writing of critiques

            2. Lectures (leading to informed discussions)

            3. A few homework sets

            4. A field trip to a recycling business (in Tolmin)

            5. Course project (in groups of 3 or 4 students)

            6. Written project reports & oral presentation


Class Participation


The instructor assumes that each student is committed to achieving the highest educational value from the course.  Therefore, every student is required to attend all classes and to be actively involved in and a contributor to class activities, by being prepared to raise questions and engage in profitable discussion over the

pre-assigned readings.


Suggested Texts (recommended but not required)


            Pollution Prevention: Fundamentals and Practice

            by Paul L. Bishop, McGraw-Hill, 2000

            reprinted by Waveland Press, 2004


            Product Design for the Environment – A Life Cycle Approach

            by Fabio Giudice, Guido La Rosa and Antonino Risitano

            CRC – Taylor & Francis, 2006


Course objectives


1. Knowledge of fundamental ways by which industry can make progress in the direction of sustainability;

2. Understanding of principles of pollution prevention and design for environment;

3. Ability to perform limited life-cycle assessments;

4. Knowledge of current, ‘green’ technological initiatives in the auto, paper and electronics industry;

5. Ability to decide in the face of incomparable quantities.




            30%  Literature critiques

            20%  Homeworks

            20%  Class participation

            30%  Project


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