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Trainees integrate life cycle assessment tools into research

Research Achievements

Trainees integrate life cycle assessment tools into research

With the focus on sustainability, life cycle assessments have been explicitly included in the research plans for most IGERT trainees, with key group discussions about LCA scope and purpose needed for sustainable electronics at the weekly IGERT research meetings. A result of the deep trainee interest in LCA tools, four contributing faculty from Political Science, Environmental and Ecological Engineering, Materials Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are guiding the cohort in the integration of technical, economic, and societal LCA tools in their research. Some trainees have already used simple life-cycle frameworks to inform experimental designs regarding synthesis and processing of polymer nanocomposites. In addition, new frameworks are being created for analyzing the process of developing and evaluating policy to address different life-cycle impacts of electronics, including the political obstacles to regulating specific impacts.