Sustainability is a delicate balance of dynamic systems
Advanced Energy & Material Systems Laboratory
Director: Associate Professor Susan Krumdieck
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Canterbury
Christchurch, New Zealand
Research, Education, Transition Engineering
The AEMSLab is an interdisciplinary research group in the College of Engineering, University of Canterbury. Students and staff work with industry, government, and communities on transition to resilient and environmentally integrated systems. Systems-level engineering research is urgently needed to provide near and long-term solutions for communities, organisations and business.
Complex problems require systems engineering of technologies and infrastructure in the context of often competing economic, social, and environmental factors. This can often involve the development of renewable energy or clean technologies. However, real transition projects for companies or communities require a systems engineering approach, creativity and innovation.
Urgent and significant fossil CO2 emissions reduction
Reduction in energy and material intensity of the economy
Strategic analysis of complex systems
Post peak oil, carbon constrained transportation systems
Long-range future transition planning
From the Ground Up: Rebuilding Christchurch as a Sustainable City
Phase 2: University Village Eco-District Pre-Feasibility Study
Student and Volunteer Project Summer 2013-14
Over the summer a group of students, experts and volunteers from the university, businesses and NGO's will work to develop the base data that designers and the community will need for a college town re-development in Riccarton. The objective is to carry out the infrastructure, economic, market and geographic investigations so that the University Village reaches the "invest-able, design-able and consent-able" stage. Open working meetings are at 5:00pm every Thursday in E13 at the University of Canterbury
Phase 1: Transition through Rebuild
What if you took a 250 year perspective on the development and adaptation of your home city? What if you listened to the intention of tens of thousands of your neighbours in their desire for a sustainable city? What if you took an engineering approach, researched and applied all of the state-of-the-art knowledge from around the world, and the analytical tools of the trade? What if you checked every option and idea with the lens of social responsibility, economic viability, and technical feasibility? You might get a very interesting vision of the possibilities. More importantly, you would understand that the city does not need to sprawl. You would understand that affordable housing is a development choice, not an impossible dream. You would understand that car dominated cities can be re-developed for the transition to a carbon-constrained and oil-constrained future. And most importantly, we will not tell you about Denmark or the UK. We did this project on the streets of Christchurch, and it is an amazing view.
For more information, please see: Rebuilding Christchurch as a Sustainable City
Dr. Krumdieck was asked to challenge a group of business leaders in New Zealand. The presentation is available on You-tube. The business leaders report being both challenged and motivated. When is change essential to business success? When your investments right now are well informed by the realities of the forward operating environment!
Dr. Krumdieck was invited to Europe to present the AEMSLab research on transition of urban forms to deal with oil supply vulnerability. The presentation to the Walloon Parliament in Namur, Belgium is available here to watch. She was also interviewed by three documentary makers and participated in the ASPO9 conference.
New Zealand's first national "no travel" conference was a huge success! You can watch videos of the 10 minute presentations on YouTube. Follow the conference discussion on the blog. There will be a documentary produced shortly about the conference and the topic of emerging sustainability. There will also be a book published next year which uses some of the conference presentations as examples.
Watch the new documentary about the Signs of Change HERE.
The Institute of Engineering and Technology selected Dr. Krumdieck as the Prestige Lecturer for 2010. You can watch the lecture HERE. Dr. Krumdieck was also invited to present a lecture on Transition Engineering to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in London September 2011. You can watch this 50 minute presentation HERE.
Find out your car dependence and your risk exposure to fuel price increase. The web program helps you do an "Energy Audit" of your transportation. You don't have to know anything other than your normal schedule, what type of car you drive, where you live, and where you go. The TACA program uses Google Map so all you have to do is fill out a diary with your weekly schedule, and then click on the location in the map. TACA calculates your distance travelled and fuel used. You can then explore what would happen if you changed some of the trips, used a more efficient car, or rode a bike. Over 1000 people have done the TACA Transport Audit so far. We have written a report that shows how people in Chrsitchurch, Oamaru and Dundein travel and how adaptable they are to fuel shocks.
Painting courtesy of Kyan Krumdieck