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Industrial Ecology, LCA & Systems Sustainability (IELCASS)

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About Us

The natural resource and its related processing industries - forest, pulp & paper, chemicals, energy, pharmaceutical and the major utility sectors (electricity, gas, water) - all interact with the environment in dynamic ways. This affects everything starting from extraction of primary resources (cradle) to eventual disposal of wastes and residuals (grave). However, these interactions are affected by a set of societal concerns or demands.

 

The Research Group for Industrial Ecology, LCA and Systems Sustainability (IELCASS) at the University of Maine undertakes multidisciplinary, integrative, innovative research to develop sustainable products from biomass resources and processes which maximize resource and energy efficiency and minimize life cycle environmental impacts. We focus on understanding the dynamic interactions fundamentally and holistically, drawing on elements of systems analysis, process simulation and optimization, network and complexity methods and models.

Previous research has focused on technology development, development of methodologies for the analysis of environmental performance of industrial sectors with specific considerations of the uncertainty aspects involved. A suite of tools is developed to assist in environmental decision making under uncertainty in complex situations with multiple stakeholders. The analysis and design of industrial networks takes place using a suite of sophisticated tools such as Life Cycle Assessment, Industrial Ecology, Agent-Based Modeling and System Dynamics.

Our research emphasizes the development and application of quantitative methods that utilize variety of analytical and system modeling platforms such as Powersim, STELLA, Matlab, ArcGIS, REPAST to study the sustainability impacts of product life cycles including development of LCI data. We work with people from various disciplines including natural resources, environmental sciences, engineering, business and economics, social science, wood science and technology, computing, management science and operations research.

 

Please refer to our research pages for more information. We are interested to work with industries.

 

Our Partners

 

We are working with various partners nationally and internationally. Here is a selection of our research partners.

Forest Bioproducts Research Initiative (FBRI), University of Maine, USA

Advanced Structures and Composites Center (AEWC), University of Maine, USA

Environmental Research Group, University of New Hampshire, USA

Sustainable Technology Office, National Research Council, Canada

Research Network for Business Sustainability, Canada

Institute for Industrial Production, University of Karlsruhe, Germany

Institute for Environmental Research, RWTH Aachen University, Germany

FONA (Research for Sustainability), Germany

Research Center for Life Cycle Assessment, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

Environment and Sustainable Development Program, United Nations University, Japan

Faculty of Science, Makere University, Uganda

Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Philippines

 

 

 

 

The University of Maine

NSF EPSCoR

The University of Maine

EPSCoR Department of Energy

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EPS-0554545

 

This project is supported by the Department of Energy EPSCoR program under award number DE-FG02-07ER46373