IndEcol History - Industrial Ecology Programme (IndEcol) - NTNU
In 1993, Senior VP of Norsk Hydro Rolf Marstrander approached the Rector at NTNU and highlighted the need for graduates with competence in environmental management systems, systems analysis, design for the environment, and eco-efficiency assessment, as part of strategic industrial thinking.
This message was promptly and positively received. An interim group of faculty (Sigurd Støren, Per Boelskifte, John Hermansen and Helge Brattebø) developed a strategy for research and teaching in the area of Industrial Ecology. They collaborated closely with leading universities abroad with similar interests, including MIT, Yale, Georgia Tech, TU Delft, DTU Copenhagen and TU Chalmers.
A parallel line of collaboration with major national companies also commenced, anchoring the academic strategy to the practical challenges, needs and perspectives of industry. These companies included Norsk Hydro (Aluminium, Magnesium and Petroleum), Siemens, Kvaerner, Statoil, Storebrand, Norske Skog and ABB. In 1996, Rolf Marstrander was offered an adjunct professorship at NTNU, and led the interim steering committee for the Industrial Ecology initiative, a position he held until the end of 2001. He was succeeded by Dr. Kjell Øren in 2003.
Coursework teaching in industrial ecology started in 1996. In response to a growing need and interest, teaching was expanded in 1999 and a comprehensive Industrial Ecology Study Programme (IndEcol) was formed. The study programme consisted of 12 courses, and recruited up to 20 Norwegian technology and social science students per annum into a three-year interdisciplinary environment.
In 2003, when Norwegian universities began changing their programmes to align with the international degree structures, IndEcol designed new PhD and international MSc curricula. We established the world's first PhD programme in industrial ecology in 2003, and followed up in 2005 with the first cohort of MSc students.
We worked closely with all of our partners to establish our academic and industrial research challenges. Under our collaboration with the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences (NTVA) we hosted four International Industrial Ecology Seminars. As well as continuing our close collaboration with Norsk Hydro and Statoil, we went on to develop more specific research collaborations with other companies, such as Tomra Systems, HÅG, Polimoon and Plastretur. A major part of these collaborations took place through the Productivity 2005 research programme.
The success and rapid development of our IndEcol activities would not have been possible without significant funding from the Norwegian Research Council, as well as the systematic support from business and industry partners.
IndEcol history at a glance
IndEcol history at a glance
- 1994: Industrial ecology initiative at NTNU after request from industry (Norsk Hydro).
- 1996-1999: 3 pilot courses taught, developing the field.
- 1998: IndEcol formally established.
- 1998: IndEcol Student Forum created.
- 1999: First class of students enrolled in the Study Programme (12 courses, students could continue with project and thesis afterwards).
- 2003: World's first PhD programme in industrial ecology established.
- 2005: First class of students enrolled in the MSc in Industrial Ecology programme.
- 2009: Student organization Symbiosis started.