Life Cycle Assessment of Energy Transitions: the Geospatial Context of Global Change

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Sarah Marie Jordaan, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED), McGill University

Speaker Biography

Dr. 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 research focuses on improving life cycle assessment, techno economic analysis, and technology innovation in support of a sustainable, low carbon energy future. 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 National Petroleum Council on a task that examines emissions from the life cycle of natural gas production systems. She is also a member of a National Academies committee that is developing a report on markets and infrastructure for carbon capture, utilization, and storage.  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. She holds a doctorate in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Science in Physics with a Computer Science from Memorial University. 


Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a cradle-to-grave quantitative tool that examines environmental burdens of products and processes from materials extraction through waste disposal.  LCA can be used to inform global solutions for the energy transition and mitigating impacts of moving towards net-zero energy.  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 in support of climate goals.  Research that improves our geospatial understanding inventories and impacts can provide insights into mitigation and a greater understanding of linkages across sustainable development goals.


Date and Time
March 28, 2023, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Event tags
UT Energy Symposium