Humankind faces breath-taking challenges. A growing global population, making increasing material demands, is to be sustained by a finite and already impaired planet. Technology is part of the solution to this dilemma. Environmental Systems Analysis is a field that assess to what extent technological solutions meet environmental and resource constraints and pathways to transform technological systems into more sustainable ones. Interdisciplinary approaches are necessary to carry out this quest.
The Division of Environmental System Analysis is a multidisciplinary unit consisting of some 30 researchers, with different disciplinary backgrounds within engineering, social sciences and natural sciences. We carry out research in three interrelated areas:
Three Areas of Research
- We study methods for environmental assessment of technology solutions including life cycle assessment (LCA), ecological risk assessment, and environmental assessment of ways of organising technical systems. We develop these methods further and apply them to different fields of technology.
- We investigate how corporations and other organisations work with environmental issues, in particular how they work with managing products chains from “cradle-to-grave”.
- We conduct research on technological change from an innovation systems perspective. What drives adoption of new technology and which are the barriers? In this context, we mainly study long-term and large-scale technological change.
Environmental systems analysis creates frameworks for analysis and methods and tools that are generic in the sense that they can be applied to different fields of technology. Methodology development is based on case studies of products, technologies, businesses, or change processes. Over time, our division has investigated a broad range of technology areas, including water supply and wastewater treatment, energy technologies such as alternative vehicle fuels and wind and solar power, buildings and construction products, food production, chemicals, nanomaterials, steel components manufacturing, electrified vehicles and recycling industry.
Find out more about current research projects
Corporations, government agencies, and trade organisations are among those who apply our research. Working with these groups is critical to our efforts. Much of this collaborative work is organised through large initiatives including research centres and large-scale research programs.
Find out more about the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis