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.
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 four 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 four 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.
The course will be delivered as a hybrid course, with both on-campus and online activities – that can be followed online / by self-study. The final written examination is tested by several online multiple-choice tests. On-campus participation in classes is encouraged as it will provide a richer learning experience, and more opportunities for discussion.
Upon completion of this course you will:
understand the deep link between mass flows and daily life (individuals and companies) and economy (society);
have required a firm empirical and conceptual understanding of natural and anthropogenic mass flows in materials/products/processes and their possible environmental impact;
know the (dis)advantages and requirements for analysis tools like mass flow analysis, embodied energy and life cycle analysis; can apply these ; can reflect critically on the outcome of such an analysis;
be able to 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 (PRV):
- The student is able to write a structured project report in English based on casuistry relate to the content of the course that meet standards for academic writing. In doing so, the student is able to formulate a clear message, and argue on choices and decisions made in the project
- The student is able to find and evaluate various sources of information on relevance and validity and to adequately refer to them in written communication
- The student is able to reflect on own writing skills and to define an action plan accordingly
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 four 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