TEP4285 - Material Flow Analysis


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Written examination and Work
Grade: Letters

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Arbeider 30/100
Skriftlig eksamen 70/100 4 timer

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.

Compulsory assignments

  • Assignments

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
More on the course

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


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2015

Language of instruction: English


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

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Energy and Process Engineering


Examination arrangement: Written examination and Work

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Arbeider 30/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Skriftlig eksamen 70/100 2015-12-05 09:00
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer KONT Arbeider 30/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer KONT Skriftlig eksamen 70/100 2016-08-08 09:00
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