The Ecological Systems Design group conducts research on modeling, analyzing and evaluating the resource efficiency and environmental impact of products and processes, new technologies and consumption patterns from a systems perspective. In particular the group strives to develop new, cutting edge methods for Life Cycle Inventory Analysis and Life Cycle Impact Assessment, and to develop and apply environmental decision support tools for Industrial Ecology in areas of high practical relevance.
The emphasis of our research lies on the life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, however other methods such as substance/material flow analysis, mathematical optimization or risk assessment are also employed depending on the problem studied. Our aim is to provide adequate and comprehensive assessment tools for directing energy and material flows to the benefit of the environment.
Thematic research areas include biotic and abiotic resources, food supply, energy systems, overall consumption, as well as waste management. A trademark of our research is the application of methodological work in case studies, in collaboration with decision makers and other stakeholders. This way we can often directly implement the research results in practise and ascertain the impact of the work.