Transition engineering and management
Professor Susan Krumdieck
NOTE ROOM CHANGE - Lecture Theatre 1.7, Queen's Building, University of Bristol
The engineering professions are trusted by society to “make things work”. The First Rule of Engineering is to “define the problem”. A poorly posed problem is nearly impossible to solve. The world oil supply will decline substantially over the next few decades. Climate scientists have made it clear that disastrous climate change can only be averted with curtailment of coal and oil combustion and wide-scale reforestation. Water, food, housing, waste, pollution… It is not difficult to understand that renewable energy does not directly substitute for fossil fuels in a way that sustains “business as usual” growth in demand. Engineers from around the world are coming together to develop the engineering methods, technologies and communication tools necessary for transition of the un-sustainable aspects of existing energy, material and activity systems. The re-development of urban forms, transport systems, manufacturing, energy supply and energy management provides numerous opportunities. This seminar will provide an introduction to the emerging field of Transition Engineering. Transition Engineering is like Safety Engineering in that all professional engineers take the social responsibility for long-term health and well-being into account in their work. Transition Engineering works on changes to address the key issue: reduce fossil fuel use to meet agreed IPCC targets of 80% reduction by 2025. TE projects change existing operations, supply chains, materials, systems and products so that they work without flow-through fossil fuel use.
About the speaker
Professor Susan Krumdieck studied Mechanical Engineering at UC Boulder, USA, then worked on wind turbine control systems and solar system testing and certification. She earned a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1989 at Arizona State University in Energy Systems Engineering. After working as an energy management consultant she was a researcher for NREL characterizing the combustion of biomass derived oil. She has built a research program that breaks new ground in Energy Transition Engineering to reduce the risks of un-sustainable energy, resource use, and environmental impact. One of her innovative research areas is combining the Energy Engineering analysis ideas with Transportation Engineering. Susan’s energy research focuses on engineering change projects aimed at continuity of human activities and wellbeing within the constraints of environment and resource availability. The work aims to develop sustainability metrics, engineering fundamentals for low-fossil energy systems, and bridging technologies and control systems to accelerate the transition to manage un-sustainable processes. This is a truly innovative approach with new ideas receiving acclaim at international meetings and conferences. She has published 130 peer-reviewed papers, has three patents, and has been an invited keynote speaker at more than 120 workshops, conferences and seminars in the past seven years. She has achieved over $5.5 million in research funding and supervised 15 PhD Students to completion.