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TISEDTALK: EmPOWERing Global Change with Life Cycle Assessment: A Spatiotemporal Approach

Thursday, March 9, 2023 12:00to13:00

Date: March 9th, 2023 | Time: 12:00 pm | Location: Macdonald Engineering Building Rm: 267 | Free Event

*This seminar will be accessible via zoom- Link provided once registered

Presented by: Dr. Sarah Jordaan

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a cradle-to-grave quantitative tool that examines the environmental burdens of products and processes from materials extraction through waste disposal. LCA is increasingly used in policy to reveal unintended consequences associated with decisions about energy products and their supply chains, yet is often criticized for using uncertain inputs. While LCAs of electricity generation are often perceived to be well understood, this presentation will illuminate gaps that overlook the equivalent of a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year and identify billion-tonne solutions that can be implemented to support climate goals. Novel methods that examine a variety of spatial scales can support the development of essential mitigation opportunities from sites to the world that are represented in current datasets. Leveraging uncertainty analyses and advanced spatiotemporal information, research that improves accuracy and our understanding of uncertainty in LCA will provide insights into mitigation solutions and evolving trends in the field.

Prof. Sarah Jordaan

Prof. Sarah Jordaan is an Associate Professor of Industrial Ecology / Life Cycle Assessment at the Department of Civil Engineering and Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design, McGill University. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on life cycle assessment, techno-economic analysis, and technology innovation. By improving geospatial and temporal methods, her research group—Energy Technology and Policy Assessment (ETAPA)— develops solutions for a more sustainable energy future. Her collaborations have been published in Nature Climate Change, Science, Environmental Science & Technology, and Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. She won the 2022 Educational Leadership Award from the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, where she has been a member since 2008. She is co-chairing a sub-group for the U.S. National Petroleum Council on a task that aims to assess greenhouse gas emissions reduction plans and potential across the life cycle of natural gas production systems. She is also a member of a U.S. National Academies committee that is developing a report on markets and infrastructure for carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Her doctorate in Environmental Design is from the University of Calgary (2010), and her Bachelor of Science (Physics) was completed at Memorial University in 2003. Prior to McGill, she held positions at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, the Electric Power Research Institute, Shell, the University of Calgary, and the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the UC, San Diego.


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