Engineering Sustainable Technologies
Speaker: Professor David Allen
Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, The University of Texas at Austin
Abstract: Engineers will play a critical role in creating technologies that will be necessary if the planet is to support populations approaching 10 billion, all aspiring to high levels of affluence. This presentation will examine some of the systems analysis tools that 21st century engineers will need if they are to effectively select materials and energy sources on which to base their designs. Two case studies will be used to illustrate the information and insight provided by the systems analysis tools commonly referred to as material flow analyses and life cycle analysis: (i) an assessment of the potential for significantly expanding the use of wastes as raw materials and (ii) an assessment of whether the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas will allow it to serve as a transition fuel to energy systems with reduced radiative forcing of the atmosphere.