EP8114 - Industrial Ecology and Sustainability


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Oral examination and work
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral examination 50/100 40 minutes D
Work 50/100

Course content

The course focuses on the intellectual framework, content and history of industrial ecology and examines the contribution of industrial ecology within sustainability science. Industrial Ecology arises more out of an urge to ‘solve’ the environmental problem than out of intellectual curiosity and is hence closer to practical disciplines like engineering, management or medicine than to curiosity-driven natural or social science. We examine how environmental problems are described and conceived of in IE and compare this to other, sometimes related disciplines and paradigms. Industrial Ecology focuses on the socioeconomic metabolism which includes the acquisition of raw materials from nature, their refinement and conversion to products in industry, the build-up of infrastructure and long-lived products, and the creation of residuals such as waste and emissions. Notions of resource scarcity, ecosystems, earth system science, and Spaceship Earth are examined. As problem description and diagnosis often implicitly or explicitly related to solution strategies, we examine strategies to solving the environmental challenge. Scope, objects and methods of industrial ecology study and practice: What is the current state of the art of industrial ecology research and practice? Overview and classification. Subfields like life-cycle assessment, material flow analysis and industrial symbiosis studies are examined, as well as approaches loaned from the social sciences and mathematical modeling approaches.

Learning outcome

At the end of the course, the student should 1. know a range of historically important papers that shaped the way our field addresses questions of resource use in society and pollution caused by human activities 2. have an understanding of the intellectual content and scope of thinking in the field of industrial ecology, especially relating to our social metabolism. 3. understand how problems have been framed and what research approaches have been derived from that. 4. be able to relate to debates in the literature and understand how they have developed. 5. Be able to place the intellectual contribution of a piece of research. 6. have improved her/his academic discussion and writing skills given the course paper and feedback received on it. Understand the character, scope, and research questions addressed by industrial ecology and understand the emergence of industrial ecology out of a range of related interdisciplinary activity.

Learning methods and activities

Mandatory attendance of the seminars and discussions. Mandatory reading and presentation of scientific articles. Students need to deliver a paper relevant to the focus of the course. To pass the course a score of at least 70 percent is required.

Compulsory assignments

  • Seminar

Further on evaluation

For a re-take of examination, all assessments during the course must be re-taken

Course materials

To be announced.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering


Examination arrangement: Oral examination and work

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Work 50/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Oral examination 50/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Work 50/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral examination 50/100 D
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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