Life Cycle Assessment Project
Full course description
The life cycle assessment project follows up on the course Engineering in a Circular Economy and the skills acquired in Academic Skills and Project Management. Teams of students are challenged to analyse the sustainability of products and production processes introduced by industrial representatives. You are introduced in instruction sessions to the tools for performing a Life Cycle Assessment, which entails the comparison of the full range of environmental effects assignable to a product by quantifying all inputs and outputs of raw materials, materials processing, manufacturing, distribution, use, disposal or recycling. Key elements are definition of functional units and carbon footprinting projected in the perspectives like circular economy, cradle-to-cradle and green chemistry. Teams of students execute the project in four distinct phases: clear definition of the product and its system’s boundaries, creation of a flowchart of water, materials and energy of the entire system, impact assessment according to the ISO 14044 standard and an interpretation of the results. The completion and success depends on working, thinking, acting and learning as a team and sharing tasks and responsibilities with peers. The results are orally presented, documented in a report and individual reflections are written on (inter)personal skills development.
At the end of this course, you are be able to: - Demonstrate understanding of the environmental implications of the project topic and feasible engineering solutions by searching and studying additional literature; - Describe the four stages of life cycle assessment (LCA) and explain the important aspects in performing an LCA in each stage; - Apply the knowledge of the four stages of LCA on a circular engineering topic by performing a basic or partial LCA study and explain the meaning of the results obtained from the LCA study performed; - Communicate on the project process and results by written text, illustrations and oral presentation; - Reflect on their share and that of peers in team performance, your personal development including leadership, and the results of the project.