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Projet de recherche pour étudiants au doctorat

Development of an LCA-based framework to assess potential environmental impacts and benefits of surface engineering innovative solutions at early research and development stage

Programme d'études visé

Domaines de recherche
Génie de l'environnement

The Green-SEAM Network will perform cutting-edge surface engineering research, targeting materials and processes with various levels of maturity. The early stages of such research offer the highest level of flexibility to orient the development of a novel technology in a more sustainable direction. However, the choices made at these early stages necessarily rely on the most limited data as to the potential characteristics of this future technology. This lack of data complicates the application of the environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, which is a notoriously data intensive method. This limits the ability of LCAs to offer reliable early guidance to technology innovation and to accompany its whole development process. Cross-disciplinary collaboration between LCA experts and researchers that develop technologies could maximize their potential environmental benefits. To manage this uncertainty and offer quick guidance early in the development process, this project aims to develop and test an early development stage LCA method. This tool will give an overview of potential strengths and pitfalls, taking into account data gaps and expected learning curves and economies of scale. The PhD student dedicated to this project will develop the framework and propose methods to improve the assessment of emerging technologies in LCA. He will apply the new approach to a case study from other Network’s research projects. The LCA tool developed in this project will be transferred to the Network’s researchers and partners through training and workshops so that it is used on a regular basis in the future as an ecodesign tool. This will lead to a more efficient research and development process, guided from the start with a life cycle perspective toward more sustainable surface engineering solutions.

A grant (20,000 $/year for 3 years) from the GreenSEAM network is available for this project.

Autres informations
Date de début : 2018-04-30

Partenaire impliqué :
This project is part of the new GreenSEAM NSERC Strategic Network. The Green Surface Engineering for Advanced Manufacturing (Green-SEAM) Strategic Network is a first in Canada, comprising 28 leading Surface Engineering and Sustainability researchers from 11 Canadian universities and 15 industrial and governmental partners. Green-SEAM is unique in embedding the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology as a decision support tool in all its activities. LCA will help Surface Engineering researchers estimate and incorporate environmental characteristics of their solutions at an early development stage. Embedded LCA will enable surface engineering solutions with superior environmental performance and provide guidance to Canada’s sustainability policies.The Green-SEAM Network research program is divided into five themes. This project is part of Theme 5 entitled “Surface engineering specific life cycle assessment methodologies”. The PhD student would be supervised by Annie Levasseur (professor at École de technologie supérieure), and co-supervised by Ben Amor (professor at LIRIDE, Université de Sherbrooke) and Shannon Lloyd (professor at Concordia University).

Candidat recherché
The research involves quantitative systems analysis, methodological innovation and integration, and software development. We are therefore looking for a highly motivated and independent candidate, with strong background in natural science or engineering. Previous experience with life cycle assessment, programming, or system modelling are particularly advantageous

Responsable à contacter
Annie Levasseur, Professeure au  Département de génie de la construction