Selected Publications

Material flow analysis (MFA) is widely used to study the life cycles of materials from production, through use, to reuse, recycling, or disposal, in order to identify environmental impacts and opportunities to address them. However, development of this type of analysis is often constrained by limited data, which may be uncertain, contradictory, missing, or over-aggregated. This article proposes a Bayesian approach, in which uncertain knowledge about material flows is described by probability distributions. If little data is initially available, the model predictions will be rather vague. As new data is acquired, it is systematically incorporated to reduce the level of uncertainty. After reviewing previous approaches to uncertainty in MFA, the Bayesian approach is introduced, and a general recipe for its application to material flow analysis is developed. This is applied to map the global production of steel using Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations. As well as aiding the analyst, who can get started in the face of incomplete data, this incremental approach to MFA also supports efforts to improve communication of results by transparently accounting for uncertainty throughout.
Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2017.

Publications

See the full list (in progress).

. Incremental Material Flow Analysis with Bayesian Inference. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2017.

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. Hybrid Sankey diagrams: Visual analysis of multidimensional data for understanding resource use. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 2017.

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Recent & Upcoming Talks

Recent Posts

floWeaver is taking part in the Mozilla Global Sprint on the 10-11 May 2018. Come join us! floWeaver’s aim is to provide open tools for working with and visualising flow data. Many kinds of data can be thought of as ‘flows’: energy and materials moving through industry, money flowing through the economy, telephone lines moving between providers, voters moving between parties. floWeaver helps you to exchange and analyse flow data and visualise it using Sankey diagrams.

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Uncertainty and variability are inevitable in studying the environmental impacts of society’s use of resources. This was the subject of a Special Session “Moving beyond averages: uncertainty and variability analysis in industrial ecology”, which I co-chaired together with Dr Jonathan Cullen, Leo Paoli and Dr David Laner, at the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) conference in Chicago in June 2017. This post summarises the session, and collects the results of the discussion with the session participants.

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Teaching

I am currently supervising or have supervised the following Engineering courses at Cambridge:

  • 1st year: Mechanics, Structural Mechanics, Dimensional Analysis, Materials, Thermofluids, Linear Vibration
  • 2nd year: Communication & Fourier Transforms
  • 3rd year: Dynamics, Vibration

I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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