Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology #ibuild @nclceser #isie2015 #industrialecology

By Oliver Heidrich

The International Society of Industrial Ecology’s (ISIE) series of biennial conferences was held between the 7th to the 10th of July 2015 at the University of Surrey. The conference was attended by more than 500 delegates that have an interest and more importantly that have and still shape significantly the discipline of Industrial Ecology. Chaired by Emeritus Professor of Environmental Technology Roland Clift and run effectively and smoothly across various locations, buildings and rooms by an army of helpers, all of which had great knowledge about the subject areas of the conference.

After more than 25 years the conference provided an excellent opportunity to take stock and plan for the future. Questions and answers how to design more sustainable industrial and urban systems, what progress has been made towards reducing resource use and what are the prospects for more resilient, material-efficient economies were discussed at the conference. Delegates were also treated to an electronic copy as part of the conference proceedings with the pre-release of the Book edited by Roland Clift and Angela Druckmann and published by Springer that carries the same title as the conference strap line: “Taking Stock of Industrial Ecology”. The book is intended as a useful resource for students, researchers and practitioners and the plenary speakers and panellists at the conference were drawn from the contributors to this book.

Alongside the conference presentation were two afternoons dedicated to more than 200 poster presentations, of which more than half were student posters. Students were encouraged to enter into a Poster competition, which was judges by a panel will consist of 6-7 experts and veterans from the various fields of industrial ecology. Conference delegates could also vote for their favourite poster (attendee’s choice winners). These competitions wanted to draw the attention to the amazing work done by ISIE students, promote high quality, communicative posters and to provide recognition to outstanding student research. The judges selected the winner based on standardized criteria considering organisation, research value and structure, charts and images, accuracy, originality, knowledge and presentation by the students.

Following tough competition from excellent students from across the world we are very pleased to say that our PhD student Miss Napaporn Tangtinthai received the 1st place winner certificate from the judges. She presented her comparative study on material flows, financing and taxation of concrete use in the housing sectors of Great Britain and Thailand. Napaporn, who is supervised by Professor David Manning and Dr. Oliver Heidrich, proposed a reporting method for construction materials and wastes like cement and concrete for Thai policy decision-making and other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Professor Chris Kennedy, President of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, presented the certificate (see picture) and prizes which included US$250 prize money and a free one-year student membership in ISIE.

The Conference Dinner was held at Epsom Racecourse which gave delegates the chance to chat informally and to provide a homage at one of its most prominent delegates and founder of Industrial Ecology- Professor Tom Graedel from Yale University. He indeed was and still is an “essential element of Industrial Ecology” and the “cradle” of industrial Ecology. The picture below that suggested in humours way the ultimate accolade would be to have a chemical element named Teg Graedelium (see picture)! Native English speaking attendees may be reminded of their school days when everybody joint, the best they could, into Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements” song of the chemical periodic table. The journey back to the University gave people time to reflect of the conference so far and discuss future plans of Industrial Ecology and what to do in the remaining days in Surrey. All in all the conference was great success and people already made plans for the next ISIE conference which will be held in 2017 in Chicago.

NapapornMiss Napaporn Tangtinthai receiving the 1st place winner award presented by Chris Kennedy


Humours accolade for Tom Graedel and the element that still needs discovery (and a name!)

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