Keynote Speakers of ICOCE 2022
Prof. Benjamin Sovacool
University of Sussex, UK
Biography: Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom. There he serves as Director of the Sussex Energy Group. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to global energy policy and politics, energy security, energy justice, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, the ethics of energy, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. His research has been endorsed by U.S. President Bill Clinton, the Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the late Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, among others. He is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), due to be published in 2022, and an Advisor on Energy to the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation in Brussels, Belgium. He has played a leadership role in winning collaborative research grants worth more than $28.2 million in directly managed funds, including those from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program of Denmark, the Danish Council for Independent Research, the European Commission and the European Research Council. In the United Kingdom, he has served as a Principal Investigator on projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The Ethics and Justice of Low-carbon Transitions
Abstract: What co-benefits does low-carbon energy or transport bring? What are the types of injustices associated with low-carbon transitions? Relatedly, in what ways do low-carbon transitions worsen social risks or vulnerabilities? Lastly, what policies might be deployed to make these transitions more just? Drawn from a rich set of original mixed methods data—across expert interviews, focus groups, and public internet forums—we examine the multidimensional, qualitative co-benefits to nuclear power in France, solar photovoltaics in Germany, electric vehicles in Norway, and smart meters in Great Britain. We catalogue 128 co-benefits to these four European low-carbon transitions, 30 for nuclear power, 30 for solar photovoltaic panels, 26 for electric vehicles and 42 for smart meters. Tellingly, 37 of these collective benefits are identified as economic and 14 environmental, but the remaining ones illustrate a broader spectrum of technical benefits (31 in total), social benefits (30 in total) and political benefits (16 in total). Furthermore, the presentation documents 120 distinct energy injustices across these four transitions. It then explores two exceedingly vulnerable groups to European low-carbon transitions, those recycling electronic waste flows in Ghana, and those mining for cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The presentation aims to show how when low-carbon transitions unfold, deeper injustices related to equity, distribution, and fairness invariably arise.
Prof. Prashant Kumar
University of Surrey, UK
Biography: Professor Prashant Kumar is Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Chair in Air Quality and Health and the founding Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey, UK. He is the Head of the GCARE’s Air Quality Laboratory and the Deputy Director of Research for the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Since March 2018, he is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Engineering at the Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. He received his PhD (Engineering) from the University of Cambridge, and an MTech (Environmental Engineering & Management) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. Prior to his PhD, he worked at a research instutute and in industrial sector for about 8 years. After his PhD, he joined University of Surrey as Lecturer (2009-2012), and subsequently worked as Senior Lecturer (2012-2015) and Reader (2015-2017). His fundamental and application oriented crossdisciplinary research is focused at the interfaces of clean air engineering/science, human health and smart/sustainable living in cities/megacities. His research builds an understanding of the formation and emission of particles, both from vehicle exhausts and non-vehicular sources. He investigates their contribution to pollution, especially in megacity contexts. He is developing approaches to low-cost sensing and contributing to the development of exposure control technology and guidelines for policymakers to curtail pollution exposure in cities, with associated health benefits. His current research projects are focused in broad multidisciplinary areas of air pollution monitoring/modelling, low-cost sensing, nature-based solutions, climate change mitigation and developing innovative technological and passive (e.g. green infrastructure) solutions for air pollution exposure control for both developing and developed world.
Indoor Air Quality Assessments in School Classrooms
Abstract: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, cities across the globe have faced national lockdowns. In July 20202, the ‘airborne’ route of COVID-19 transmission was recognised for the first time in indoor public places with high occupancy and low ventilation. It highlighted the need of understanding the ventilation and aerosol concentrations to devise mitigation measures for the COVID-19 transmission. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Research Council, COTRACE (COvid-19 Transmission Risk Assessment Case studies - education Establishments) project aims “to quantify the risk of airborne COVID-19 transmission in schools and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures, by developing techniques to assess the absolute risk of infection in a given indoor space, using field studies in primary and secondary schools, complemented by laboratory experiments and CFD to elucidate the flow patterns responsible for airborne transport”. This presentation will provide an overview of the intensive monitoring campaigns carried out over the last year at multiple classrooms simultaneously in nearly a dozen schools. The monitoring locations included classrooms, halls and other areas where the occupancy is usually highest and ventilation is limited, with a view to understand the ventilation, indoor air quality and the risk of airborne transmission.
Prof. Pen-Chi Chiang
National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Dr. Chiang began engaging in teaching and research activities in National Taiwan University since he obtained PhD degree from the Department of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, USA in 1982. Currently, he is a Distinguished Professor of Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University, a Director of Carbon Cycle Research Center of National Taiwan University, a BCCE of American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), a Fellow of Water Environment Federation (WEF), and a Diplomat of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has been actively involved the international and national academic associations served as the Board of Director (1987-2007), Executive Committee (2001), Academic Committee (2008-present), WEF; Chairman, IAWQ Specialized Conference (2001); President, Chinese Institute of Environmental Engineering (2004-2006); and AIChE Local Chapter (2009-present).
Dr Chiang is known for his work in physicochemical treatment such as carbon adsorption, membrane and ozonation processes. In addition, he was also devoted to the research projects in the area of carbon capture technology, integrated watershed management, and sustainability for energy and industrial development. He has received numerous awards for research achievements, including Outstanding Research Award, National Science Council (1988-1999), Distinguished Chinese Institute of Engineer Research Award (1993), Outstanding Chinese Institute of Environmental Engineering Research Award (1993, 1995), Best Paper Award, Environmental and Water Resource Institute, ASCE (2005), and Best Paper Award, Chinese Institute of Environmental Engineering (2011, 2014). Dr Chiang has published more than 200 paper papers in the above area since 1990.
Development of Decarbonizing Supply Chains for Circular Economy towards Carbon Neutrality
Abstract: The development of decarbonizing supply chains can drive the concept and atmosphere of green consumption and eco-living in society and industry, thereby promoting and implementing the green technology into sustainable industry for circular economy. The decarbonizing supply chains can also be applied to the production and manufacturing of green products to reduce the environmental impact of related processes and upstream and downstream chains and to increase the efficiency and added value, as well as to improve product quality and thus bring opportunities for the clean and green development of society as a whole. By developing more affordable and better promising green technologies, they may significantly reduce the cost of reducing CO2 emissions changing the level of upgrading of industries, shifting production from low to high value-added industries, which in turn also stimulates economic growth towards carbon neutrality. In general, the development of new green technologies often requires systemic innovation, and the higher level of innovation investment. In the future, through the growing awareness and development of green technologies around the world, the emergence of green technologies may help companies to reduce the unavoidable costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.