EP8123 - Dynamic MFA Modelling (MFA2)


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Aggregate score
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Oral exam 60/100 1 hours D
Assignment 40/100

Course content

Built environment stocks - such as buildings, infrastructures, or vehicles - satisfy human needs and wants. At the same time, their build-up, use, and end-of-life management shape the main anthropogenic material and energy flows. Transforming the built environment stocks is therefore key for balancing human needs with environmental protection. The consequences of such transformations are often delayed due to the time it takes until new technologies have penetrated use (e.g., for reducing emissions) or reach end-of-life (e.g., for becoming available for recycling). To capture these delay effects for resource use and emissions, it is critical to analyze the dynamics of built environment stocks. This course introduces dynamic Material Flow Analysis (dMFA), a tool used to describe changing systems of resource use and emissions using mass and energy balance principles. The students learn how to develop and use dMFA models to generate forecasting and backcasting scenarios to determine how different emission targets can be reached under different conditions such as population growth, existing stock, climate, novel technologies, user behavior, regulations.

Lectures on the principles of dMFA and stock dynamics are complemented with introductory information on the use of Python and Jupyter Notebooks and practical exercises. In the exercises, the students work in groups of two to develop their own models and scenarios for vehicle and building stocks and interpret the results from a climate policy perspective. The students will present their intermediate and final work in a seminar. The course involves guest lectures from industry and government and an excursion.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The students will be able to formulate the key problems related to selected built environment systems, to describe the state-of-the-art tools used to analyze these problems (including their strengths and limitations), and to describe the legal and socio-economic context.

Skills: The students will acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to select appropriate system boundaries to answer specific questions related to a problem, to develop models suitable to identify alternative transformation pathways, to use Python for programming dMFAs, and to discuss different interventions in terms of their effectiveness and potential co-benefits, trade-offs, risks, and barriers.

General competence: The students will be able to conduct literature research using online databases and library systems, to work effectively in a team, to organize a code base for scientific research, and to communicate their findings in an effective and transparent way in oral (presentation) and written form (scientific report).

Learning methods and activities

Lectures by teachers and external experts, guided self-study for selected case studies (individual and in groups). The students work on their own projects with guidance in exercise sessions and seminars where they present their work. Course language is English.

Further on evaluation

The course is building up to a student project on the building stock of a country. This project is developed over multiple weeks in groups of two and results in a written report.

The final grade (pass or fail) is composed of the written report on the project submitted by the group (40%) and an oral exam at the end of the course (60%).

The re-sit examination will be conducted as an oral examination.

Course materials

Various course materials will be used and distributed electronically on Blackboard during the semester.

The course is usually put together with the master level course (TEP4290).

More on the course

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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

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

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering


Examination arrangement: Aggregate score

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Assignment 40/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Oral exam 60/100 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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