TEP4285 - Material Flow Analysis


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
work 30/100 A
Written examination 70/100 4 hours D

Course content

The course provides an introduction into the analysis, evaluation, and design of the anthropogenic metabolism on various scales (companies, cities, countries, world). The students will learn how to use MFA in order to anticipate changes in resource demand and emissions, to interpret these changes in terms of consequences for the environment, resource security, employment, or geopolitical conditions, and to identify opportunities for changing the system in a desired direction. The methodological elements of the course include: i) terminology, system definition, and indicator selection; ii) mathematical representation of systems; iii) mathematical representation of uncertainty, sensitivity analysis, and data reconciliation; iv) dynamic modeling; v) introduction to and application of various software for MFA modeling. The methodology lectures are supplemented by background lectures, which include practical examples of MFAs. In the exercises, the students will employ the tools and methodologies in practical examples related to the main human activities (to nourish, to clean, to transport and communicate, to reside and work). The lectures will contain interactive elements with short discussions.

Learning outcome

The students will optain knowledge about:
- the main challenges and strategies for the socio-economic metabolism related to the basic human activities (to nourish, to clean, to transport and communicate, to reside and work);
- the theory of the socio-economic metabolism and its examination in space and time through material flow analysis (MFA).

The students will be able
- to explain the role of key substances and materials in today's societal metabolism and their potential interactions with the environment;
- to define MFA systems, and to describe a system as a mathematical model in order to test the impact of data uncertainties and to develop simple scenarios(forecasting, backcasting, analyzing implications of interventions);
- to point out and reflect on strengths, limitations, and specific areas of application of different MFAs(including other industrial ecology tools that build on them), and to interpret the results in terms of their policy implications(e.g., judge the effectiveness of different interventions).

General competence
The students will:
- familiarize with the use of system approaches for solving complex problems;
- become aware of the similarities and differences between MFA and other industrial ecology tools, the types of questions they can address, and their limitations;
- learn to effectively communicate complex information with practitioners (including visual representation).

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and exercises. The course will be taught in English. Since the teaching is given in English the Examination papers will be given in English only. The students are free to choose Norwegian or English for written assessments. If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral.

Further on evaluation

Portofolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portofolio includes a final written exam (70%) and exercises (30%). The result for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portofolio is assigned a letter grade.
For a re-take of an examination, all assessments during the course must be re-taken.

Course materials

Various course materials will be used and distributed electronically (It's learning) during the semester.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
TVM4160 7.5 01.09.2013
More on the course



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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2019

No.of lecture hours: 3
Lab hours: 2
No.of specialization hours: 7

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Building Technology
  • Waste Management and Recycling Technologies
  • Building and Material Technology
  • Environmental and Resource Engineering
  • Rock Engineering
  • Construction Engineering
  • Geology of Mineral Deposits
  • Materials and Processes
  • Building Materials
  • Resource Geology
  • Architecture
  • Agricultural topics
  • Economics
  • Technological subjects
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering



Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD work 30/100 A
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS work 30/100 A
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Written examination 70/100 D 2019-12-04 15:00
Room Building Number of candidates
SL111 grønn sone Sluppenvegen 14 43
Summer UTS Written examination 70/100 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"

More on examinations at NTNU