This course looks at where important materials in products we use every day come from and how these materials can be used more efficiently, longer, and in closed loops. This is the aim of the Circular Economy, but it doesn’t happen on its own. It is the result of choices and strategies by suppliers, designers, businesses, policymakers and all of us as consumers.
In addition to providing many cases of managing materials for sustainability, the course also teaches skills and tools for analyzing circular business models and promotes development of your own ideas to become more involved in the transition to a Circular Economy.
This course is brought to you by:
You will learn from expert researchers and practitioners from around Europe as they explain core elements and challenges in the transition to a circular economy over the course of 5 modules:
Type of training
This is a MOOC, hence the modules will be all taught online.
Objectives and outcome
Competencies learned are:
Participants would require their own laptop and a stable high-speed internet connection to take part in this course.
Anyone who wishes to learn more about this topic.
Erika Machacek, Ph.D., is a geographer with research focus on the value dimension in global value chains, minerals, and end-of-life materials. Her background spans from international development and geopolitics to environmental management, and economic/political geography. This is reflected in her recent research which involves rare earth elements, and the assessment of mineral occurrences, impediments to recycling rare earths from end-of-life light bulbs, the construct of mineral criticality, and governance dynamics in global value chains. Latter concerns the coordination and control mechanisms that determine negotiated outcomes of collaborative work and trade relationships between individuals engaged in manufacturing activities of firms that are geographically fragmented but organizationally integrated. Erika works at the Centre for Minerals and Materials at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Her publications feature in Resources Policy, and in Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
Dr. Jeroen Gillabel (°1982) is a researcher and team lead at the Sustainable Materials Management Unit of VITO, Belgium, where his focus is on research into the process and outcomes of circular business transition, and the application of research results in supporting tools for businesses and actors supporting businesses in the transitioning process. As innovation team lead, he coordinates the research and development of business innovation tools that integrate environmental and economic dimensions of circular business design. He has broad experience in both policy and business support studies related to sustainable materials management, circular economy and circular business strategies, and he is lead author of the Circular Economy Report series published by the European Environment Agency. He holds a PhD degree in applied biological sciences (University of Leuven, 2010) and an Msc in environmental engineering (University of Leuven, 2005).
Jessika Luth Richter’s research interests include consideration of policies and practices for closing material loops for secondary supply of critical and other raw materials from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). She is currently researching policy instruments for WEEE and how questions related to closing and slowing material loops, including design, repair, disposal, collection, labelling, and procurement, can be addressed in a synergistic way. She has also evaluated policies related to renewable energy, carbon markets, and energy efficiency standards and is also involved in Masters level teaching at the IIIEE.
Saskia Manshoven is a researcher and project manager within the unit ‘Sustainable Materials Management’ at VITO. She has a broad experience in waste management, circular economy, circular business models and life cycle thinking. She has a broad experience in working with industry, policy support for national and European authorities and stakeholder participation processes in the fields of resource management and bio economy. Saskia has been involved in several international research projects for Interreg, the European Commission, the European Environment Agency and EIT Raw Materials. She teaches circular economy and sustainable materials management in environmental management courses for professional education. Saskia has three years of experience in environmental consultancy in the field of groundwater treatment and soil remediation. She holds a degree in Environmental Engineering (University of Leuven, 2003).
Prof. Konstantinos Modis has a background in Mining Engineering and Geostatistics and more than 25 years of academic and management experience in the fields of mineral research and sustainability. He is a Professor at the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at National Technical University of Athens, Greece. Topics of interest for Konstantinos include ore reserves estimation, orebody economic evaluation, geological modeling, sampling optimization, risk assessment, and application of machine learning algorithms to increase the success probability of the mining project. Konstantinos’ recent projects and assignments include optimization of mine exploitation, remedial measures against acid mine drainage, innovative methods for beneficiation, and statistical evaluation of metallurgical processes.
Julia Nussholz has a background in economics and environmental governance, focusing on sustainable resource management, innovation and entrepreneurship. In her PhD research in the MISTRA REES project, she works to develop ‚circular’ business models that facilitate extending the useful life of products, and materials and closing material flows. Her aim is to integrate knowledge of business studies, lifecycle management, entrepreneurship and product design to develop methods for the design of business modelst that support ‚circular’ strategies. She is involved in master thesis supervision and teaching in several MSc courses offered at the IIIEE. Previously, she has been involved in circular economy policy initiatives at the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Environment and in research projects at the Geoscience Faculty of Utrecht University.
As a TU Delft Senior Research Fellow, David Peck, researches and teaches in the field of circular built environment and critical materials. David works in the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Department Architectural Engineering and Technology. His research objective is the development of a knowledge framework for a circular materials economy, that enables the circular design of future cities and buildings. David is also a visiting Professor with Coventry University and an adjunct Professor at MIP Politecnico di Milano, Graduate School of Business, both roles on circular cities and critical materials. David is the TU Delft lead for the pioneer university status with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for a circular economy. He is the TU Delft lead manager for a Horizons 2020 project, ProSUM - Prospecting Secondary raw materials (Critical Materials) in the Urban Mine and mining waste and the recently completed H2020 project, ERN – European Remanufacturing Network. David is the TU Delft representative for the EU KIC EIT Raw Materials (sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution). He leads a number of projects in this 2 bn Euro programme that has a focus on circular and materials.
Philip Peck (PhD) has some 25 years of industrial and academic experience, working in construction and a global mining corporation for nearly a decade before entering academia. Dr Peck’s primary research foci are the environmental, socio-economic, policy, and market deployment parameters of new technology systems – particularly material loop closure, and low carbon energy, systems. Dr. Peck leads research into how industrial and social groups can adopt more sustainable production and consumption patterns, reduce resource consumption, and move towards low-carbon, and-or circular systems. Work in past years has included material cycle closure systems, emerging renewable energy systems, and industrial energy efficiency. These encompass techno-economic, environmental and socio-economic aspects of sustainability. He teaches at graduate level in areas including ‘sustainability strategies’ for organisations, ‘resource efficiency and material cycle closure’, ‘energy for sustainable development’, and environmentally adapted innovation processes. Dr Peck also engages in policy and industrial capacity building related outreach and has contributed extensively to the work of UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO and other multilaterals, principally in areas related to the mining and extractive industries. He has engaged in international expert committees, industry, and UN missions to some 20 countries tasked with improvement of the environmental, resource efficiency, and social performance of industry.
Sophie Sfez has a background in agronomy and environmental science. After 2 years as a consultant on sustainability topics in Brussels, she started a PhD at the Department of Sustainability Organic Chemistry and Technology on the environmental sustainability of resource recovery systems and technologies. During her PhD, finishing end 2017, she had the opportunity to work on several European projects including the MEASURE (Metrics for Sustainability Assessment in European Process Industries) and REPAIR (Resource Management in Peri-urban Areas: Going Beyond Urban Metabolism) projects. She is a teaching assistant and supervises master thesis students as well as teaches courses on Clean Technology and Air pollution. Her topics of interest are organic waste management, innovation in resource recovery from waste and wastewater streams and the sustainability of decentralized energy and wastewater treatment systems.
Dr. YULIYA VOYTENKO PALGAN is an Associate Professor in Sustainable Development at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University, Sweden. She has over 12 years of experience in multicultural, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams. She works in the areas of sustainability, urban governance, innovation and sustainable consumption. Her research focuses on strategies for sustainability solutions in new economies (i.e. bioeconomy, sharing economy and circular economy) and sustainable urban innovation and experimentation (e.g. nature based solutions in cities, urban living labs). Yuliya has produced around 100 publications in a variety of formats. She has published several edited books and special issues with colleagues including Urban Living Labs (Routledge 2018) and Smart and Sustainable Cities (Local Environment 2019). She leads a research project Sharing and the City (FORMAS) and contributes to the research projects Urban Sharing: Sustainability and Institutionalisation (ERC, GA No.771872) and NATURVATION (EC Horizon 2020, GA No.730243). Yuliya promoteS education for sustainability at postgraduate, graduate, undergraduate and professional levels. She teaches applied research and scholarly writing, environmental science, sustainable development, sustainable consumption, new business models for sustainable living, and the sharing economy. She teaches in several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Yuliya works with society advising municipal leaders, policy makers, industry, entrepreneurs, knowledge institutes, NGOs and international organizations.
Karl Vrancken (°1969), is research manager sustainable materials management at VITO. He has a part-time assignment as professor at the University of Antwerp (Dept. Bio-engineering), where he teaches sustainable resources management. After an education as a Doctor in Chemistry (University of Antwerp, 1995), he worked as a training and development manager in the environmental engineering industry. He has broad experience as a researcher and project manager in projects on waste management and treatment, secondary raw materials, best available techniques (BAT) and integrated pollution prevention and control. He worked as a Detached National Expert with the European IPPC Bureau in Seville (Spain), where he was the author of the BREF (BAT Reference Document) for the Foundries sector. Karl has been heading multidisciplinary research teams on sustainability assessment and transition, first as a manager, later as research coordinator. He is a working group member in the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials (DG ENT) and consortium chairman of the EEA European Topic Centre on Waste and Materials for a Green. In the first half of 2015 he was seconded to start up the knowledge and innovation community (KIC) EIT Raw Materials, as interim Chief Operations Officer (iCOO). At present, Karl is chairman of the Western Co-location Centre of EIT RawMaterials.
Katherine Whalen researches business aspects of circular economy in MISTRA REES, a Swedish research program on circular economy. She is also involved in education at Lund University, teaching courses on eco-design to undergraduate and master’s students. Her interests include business model innovation, entrepreneurship, and game-based learning. Katherine is founder of In the Loop Games AB, a start-up that aims to make education for sustainable development understandable and fun. Universities and companies around the world have used her serious game In the Loop to learn about the importance of systems thinking in material supply chains. She previously worked at Circle Economy, a non-profit, circular economy-focused organisation based in Amsterdam where she led the Circular Design Program. She holds engineering degrees from Webb Institute and Delft University of Technology.
Please note that this is a MOOC and taught online.
The course begins regularly. Please check the web page for the next available start date, registration and further information: https://www.coursera.org/learn/circular-economy/?action=enroll.