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From industrial ecology to a circular economy: mass flow based concepts

0SV20

About this course

In this course we will focus on mass flows: natural mass flows (nutrient cycles, including the carbon cycle); flows through the industrial system (materials, processes, products) and their environmental impact; and flows at a more aggregated level (product chains, sectors, compartments or complete economies). We will present basic concepts and data, and explore and apply analysis tools and critically reflect on them. As such, the course is interesting for anyone involved in production, chemicals, building or energy.
The building blocks of the course are:

  • Introduction to the field of industrial ecology and system thinking;
  • The material basis: earth, minerals, materials and processes;
  • Crucial environmental problems;
  • Accounting concepts: national mass flow accounting, footprints and life cycle analysis.
  • Simple and more complicated quantitative exercises (the latter in two pre-structured assignments);
  • Concepts or frameworks like industrial symbiosis, circular economy, ecological footprint and depletion;
  • We aim to invite three ‘practitioners’ in the lectures to discuss with students how the concepts that our taught in this course are used in the daily practise of firms and policy makers.

Set up
The course is strongly structured and consists of a set of modules which are sequentially discussed in the lectures. During the course there will be three intermediate multiple choice exams. In each intermediate exam, the study material of a set of three to four modules will be examined. In parallel, students will carry out four assignments. Only for the multiple choice exams a single retake is possible. The retake comprises the study material of all three intermediate exams. 
This setup of the courses requires students to actively participate in the weekly lectures and align their study pace with the weekly provided study material.

Additional information PRV Writing skills
Writing skills are explicitly assessed as part of the assignments by rubrics. Students receive feedback (tips & tops).

For Student Mobility Alliance students:
This course doesn’t require additional requirements, as it is an introductory course. This course is for students interested in technology (mass and energy flows) and environmental impact, and with an analytical mindset. Students from a variety of study programs can follow the course. 
On-campus participation in classes is encouraged as it will provide a richer learning experience, and more opportunities for discussion. The final written examination is made up from three intermediate online multiple-choice tests

Learning outcomes

After this course, the student is able to:

  • understand the deep link between mass flows and daily life (individuals and companies) and economy (society);
  • understand the empirical and conceptual mass flows (both natural and anthropogenic) in materials/products/processes and their possible environmental impact;
  • apply the (dis)advantages and requirements for analysis tools like mass flow analysis, embodied energy and life cycle analysis;
  • critically reflect on the outcome of abovementioned analysis;
  • describe different mass flow based concepts like industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, circular economy, ecological footprint, depletion; know their (dis)advantages and mutual differences and can discuss them


Professional skills:

In this course (0SV20), sustainable innovation students (SI) will further develop the professional skill Writing (level 2). Through participation in SI Academic Writing Workshop #2, you will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • The student is able to identify the central components of a standard paragraph and organize ideas into a logically structured paragraph.
  • The student has a better understanding of how to write an effective argument using data as evidence.
  • The student is knowledgeable about the four elements needed to construct a data commentary.
  • The student produces an outline they can use to write their first P&PD-required writing assignment.

You will apply these acquired skills in the 0SV20-required Assignment 2, as well as in the P&PD Required Writing Assignment: A Data Commentary in which you have to write a complete, well-developed 1-paragraph data commentary as learned and practiced in the writing workshop.

Attendance and participation in the workshop and submission of the P&PD-required writing assignment will result in a ‘pass’ for the professional skill Writing in this course.

Non-SI students are exempted from this task.

Additional information for student Mobility Alliance students:
This course doesn’t require additional requirements, as it is an introductory course. This course is for students interested in technology (mass and energy flows) and environmental impact, and with an analytical mindset. Students from a variety of study programs can follow the course. 
On-campus participation in classes is encouraged as it will provide a richer learning experience, and more opportunities for discussion. The final written examination is made up from three intermediate online multiple-choice tests.

Required prior knowledge

You must meet the following requirements

  • Registered for a degree programme other than
  • HBO-TOP Applied Physics, Pre-Master

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TU Eindhoven.

Offering(s)

  • Start date

    3 februari 2025

    • Ends
      6 april 2025
    • Term *
      Block 3
    • Location
      Eindhoven
    • Instruction language
      English
    Enrolment starts in 211 days
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University