Reconsidering Sustainability


5 Dec 2008

Promotiezaal, Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Building D, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels

How are we preparing for 75% of the world population to live in cities by 2050? How can instutions create more space for innovation and change the structures, culture and practices to implement long term transition strategies? Which steps need to be taken to make the shift from eco-efficiency towards eco-effectiveness? What can we learn from industries in transition? James Scott Brew from the famous Rocky Mountain Institute, Jan Rotmans from Erasmus University Rotterdam, Egbert Lox of Umicore and automotive expert Joeri Van Mierlo of VUB shared their ideas and opinions in this thought-provoking science & industry lunch on the 5th of Dec....


09:00 Setting the scene in automotive: Joeri Van Mierlo (VUB, Brussels)
09:30 Energy efficiency as result of management: transition management and innovation in function of a better society through a mix of top-down & bottom-up thinking: Jan Rotmans (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands)
10:15 Paradigm Shifts in Sustainable Design, Building and Community - James Scott Brew (Rocky Mountain Institute, Boulder, USA)
11:15 Coffee break
11:30 Eco-efficient optimization of metal industry: Egbert Lox (Umicore, Belgium)
12:45 Paneldiscussion
13:00 Apero & Walking lunch

Bios / Slides

Setting the scene in automotive

(abstract) The presentation will give an overview of current and future vehicle technologies. They will be compared on a well-to-wheel basis: energy needs and environmental impact from extraction of raw material, over transport and production and distribution of fuel until the use in the vehicles. What are the most environmental friendly and energy efficient vehicle technologies?

(bio) Prof. Dr. ir. Joeri Van Mierlo (EPE and IEEE member) graduated in 1992 as electro-mechanical engineer at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, V.U.B. His master thesis was devoted to the development of the PLC automatisation of a dynamic roll bench to test electric vehicles.
As a research assistant he was in charge of several research projects regarding test and evaluation of electric and hybrid electric vehicles of the department of Electrical Engineering and Energy Technology (ETEC) of the V.U.B, CITELEC and AVERE, European scientific association hosted by the University. He finished his PhD, entitled “Simulation Software for Comparison and Design of Electric, Hybrid Electric and Internal Combustion Vehicles with Respect to Energy, Emissions and Performances”, in June 2000 with greatest distinction.
From October 2004 Joeri Van Mierlo has been appointed as a fulltime professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Currently his research is devoted to the development of DC-DC converters and energy storage systems for electric and hybrid propulsion systems as well as traffic and emissions models and environmental comparison of vehicles with different kind of drive trains and fuels. He is head of the MOBI – Mobility and automotive technology research group.

Energy efficiency as result of management

Jan Rotmans is the scientific director of DRIFT. In September 2004 he established the new research institute DRIFT: Dutch Research Institute For Transitions and received a position as full professor in transitions and transition management at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Jan Rotmans is one of the founding fathers of Integrated Assessment and an expert in the field of integrated modelling, scenario-analysis, indicator-development and uncertainty-analysis and -management. He is initiator of the Global Modelling Forum for Sustainable Development, vice-chairman of the European Forum on Integrated Environmental Assessment (EFIEA), and vice-president of TIAS: The Integrated Assessment Society. From 1994-2000 he was vice-chairman of the PIK-Institute in Potsdam, and from 2004 he is a member of the Supervisory Board of the Tyndall Institute in Norwich, UK. Jan Rotmans has more than 200 publications in the field of climate change & global change modelling, sustainable development, and transitions and system innovations. He has given numerous keynote lectures all over the world and attended numerous conferences and workshops. For his PhD-research he received the SNS-prize, and in 2003 he received the IIAS-Award, on behalf of the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics.

Paradigm Shifts in Sustainable Design, Building and Community

(abstract) Last year, for the first time in human history, more people now live in cities than not. How are we preparing for 75% of the world population to live in cities by 2050? This session will include a discussion on current trends and possible paths for sustainable building design and community living. Questions about the way we approach design and how we might move toward regenerative buildings and communities will be introduced for discussion.

(bio) Mr. Brew has over 28 years of sustainable design experience in historic, commercial, institutional, and residential architecture. He specializes in integrated design, whole systems thinking and leads RMI’s Built Environment Team Design & Planning Studio. His studio is focused on large scale developments including both new and existing cities, campuses and communities. James is a frequent speaker at regional, national and international conferences on many aspects of sustainable design issues--leading us toward regenerative buildings and communities. He has been a presenter at USGBC’s greenbuild conference, the Healthcare Summit on Sustainability, and the World Conference on Sustainability in Canada, Norway, and Japan. He recently spoke at the First International Conference on Building Energy & the Environment in Dalian, China.
As a regular contributor for broadcast and print media, James provides insight on topics of energy, healthy building design, and sustainable communities. He has been a contributor to Business Week, CNBC Europe, Popular Science, Builder and Plenty magazines.
James is a Fellow of the Construction Specifications Institute (FCSI), a member of the American Institute of Architects. Before joining Rocky Mountain Institute, James spent 18 years as a principal owner, vicepresident and leader of sustainable design, growing his own Minnesota-based architecture and engineering firm from a small, single-focused firm, to over 165 people in 7 client-focused teams.

Eco-efficient optimization of metal industry

(abstract) The basic Umicore strategy with respect to generating and delivering material technology solutions is explained. Many new applications of these material technology solutions are in the area of Clean Technologies , and for all new applications the recycling technology is generated as well. Recycling of the material technology solutions is in many cases the most energy efficient way to assure the supply of non-ferrous materials, and in all cases an effective way to minimize their potential negative impact on the environment. Doing so, Umicore contributes to the sustainability of it's operations.

(bio) Egbert Lox (MSc & PhD, University of Ghent, 1987) is currently Vice President of Group R&D , which is the corporate R&D department at Umicore and guest lecturer at the TH Karlsruhe; ENSPM, Institut Francais du Petrole and Volkswagen - AutoUni. Throughout his career he held various positions in the chemical   industry in Germany and Belgium, such as Vice President External Relations Automotive Catalyst Division at Umicore , Director R&D Automotive Catalyst Division at OMG and Director R&D Automotive Catalyst Division at dmc² (Degussa). He is co-inventor of about 140 patents in the field of catalytic automotive exhaust emission control and author of about 100 technical publications, amongst which three major   book contributions. Egbert Lox is member of CAWET , Belgium and board member of the Verein der Freunde und Foerderer der TU Darmstadt, Germany , next to may other   professional boards and institutions in Europe.