Sustainable Systems Science for Accelerating Clean Energy Transitions and Climate Solutions

Location: 1605 Tilia Street, Suite 100, Davis, CA
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The next few years are critical. Immediate and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary across all sectors or limiting warming to 1.5 °C will be beyond reach.  Sustainable systems science provides a useful framework and tools to characterize mobility, buildings, food, and other systems and to guide and accelerate sustainability transformations.  Systems analysis tools such as life cycle assessment can be used to evaluate incumbent systems as well as outcomes from interventions addressing and aligning technology, design, policy, market, and consumer behavior – levers that are key to accelerating clean energy and climate solutions.

Life cycle-based tools are valuable systems analysis methods because they encompass production and consumption processes, can map to stakeholder decisions, generate a wide set of performance metrics (e.g., energy and carbon footprints, cost), and can uncover tradeoffs in outcomes that exist across space and time.

This seminar will demonstrate the utility of life cycle-based methods including life cycle design and optimization tools.  Key findings from Center for Sustainable Systems research on automobiles (e.g., ICEV, BEV, CAV), buildings (e.g., whole buildings, appliances, lighting), infrastructure, and food systems will be highlighted to inform future carbon neutrality research, technology development, consumer choices, and policy.

Dr. Greg Keoleian is the Peter M. Wege Professor of Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan and serves as Director of the Center for Sustainable Systems, which he cofounded in 1991.  He has appointments as Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and co-directs MI Hydrogen, a cross campus enterprise to create hydrogen solutions that accelerate clean energy transitions.

His research focuses on the development and application of life cycle models and sustainability metrics to guide the design and improvement of products and technology.  He analyzes life cycle energy, greenhouse gas emissions, costs and other impacts of conventional and alternative vehicle technology, renewable energy technologies, buildings and infrastructure, and food systems to improve their sustainability.

He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and was recently named to the Reuters Hot List of the world’s top climate scientists.