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
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
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
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
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% Class participation
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