Geotechnical & Geoenvironmental Engineering Laboratory

Solutions for Sustainable Geoenvironment


News - Professionals Benefit by Short Course on Sustainability

A one-day short course titled Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainable Geoengineering was held at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on September 9, 2013.  The course was presented through the cooperation of ASCE Illinois Section – Geo-Institute and UIC.  The course featured instruction by Krishna R. Reddy, Professor of Civil Engineering at UIC and Jeffrey A. Adams, an Associate of San Ramon, California-based ENGEO Incorporated. The objective of the short course was to present a range of sustainability concepts and tools that may be applied to the design, construction, and operation of civil engineering projects.  Over 20 attendees representing a cross-section of academia, consulting, and government agency organizations attended the course. 

The short course featured several sustainability-related topics, including an overview of the basic sustainability concepts, a discussion of various environmental, social, and economic concerns, a discussion of the “Triple bottom line” concept, metrics used to measure sustainability, and several sustainability measurement frameworks and tools, including carbon footprint analysis, life cycle assessment (LCA), and streamlined LCA.  In addition, sustainability software programs were demonstrated, and several case studies and related quantitative sustainability assessments were presented covering a range of civil engineering-related applications.    

Through their participation, attendees learned of the growing attention and rationale for the growing interest and attention in the development of sustainable geo-systems and how sustainability principles can be increasingly incorporated into projects.  The case studies provided specific examples of how these concepts may be introduced to critically assess project alternatives among a range of technically appropriate options.  The post-course feedback from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive.  One attendee commented, “The content improved my understanding of sustainability. I liked the detailed explanations. The means for measuring the degree of sustainability was extremely interesting”.  A second attendee added, “I was interested in the case histories. These made me think about project designs in a new light”.

Reddy and Adams plan to offer the short course at different locations in the future.

Click here for Course Program.