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Methods: Analysing Physical Processes


Title course: Methods for analyzing physical processes

Coordinator(s): Mingming Hu and René Kleijn
Other involved teachers: Bernhard Steubing, Ranran Wang and Lauran van Oers

Entry requirements

This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree TU Delft and Leiden University).

Description course

The course provides knowledge of the core tools used in the area of Industrial Ecology, their philosophy and their position in the field. Students are trained in the applicability of these tools by working on case studies with the aid of specific software-tools. Prior to the course, please make sure the software-tools STAN ( and CMLCA ( can be run on your computer. Apple users should make sure they can run MS windows. For tips on this see for example: (

Learning goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • DESCRIBE the most important tools in IE, their philosophy and position in the field.

  • DISCUSS the applicability of these tools (incl. possibilities and limitations).

  • DEFINE and refine research questions for the analysis.

  • WORK WITH 3 groups of analytical tools (incl. supporting software & databases): MFA/SFA, LCA, IOA for (pre-treated cases) in a societal /policy /business context.

  • transparently REPORT on the findings in an article.

  • DEMONSTRATE analytical thinking and critical thinking.

Education format

  • Lectures and discussion with key articles as background.

  • Practical group work with software tools for MFA/SFA, LCA and IOA.

  • Presentation of group work results.
    The lecturers communicate via Brightspace and MS Teams. Further information on the course, reading materials, communications, grades, etc. will be available at Brightspace Leiden University. Besides, the MS Teams environment will be used for the online teaching.

Assessment forms

  • Written exam (7 out of 10 points).

  • Group assignments (3 out of 10 points: MFA/SFA assignment 1, LCA assignment 1, IOA assignment 1. Compulsory attendance for work sessions, each absence causes 0.1-point penalty).
    Final grades of the course are expressed by means of a figure between 1 and 10, rounded to the nearest half. The rounding process will be done, only at the end, for the final grades calculation. The interim grades (of written exam, group assignments and mini tests) will keep two digits after the decimal point. A minimum success rate of 60% in the written exam and a minimum grade of 6 for the entire course are necessary to pass the course. The grade 5,5 cannot be granted. Grades between 5,01 and 5,49 are rounded to 5,0 and grades between 5,50 and 5,99 are rounded to 6,0.


Joeri Bertels and Henk Bezemer (2008) (eds). Principles of Environmental Sciences, ISBN 978-1-4020-9157-5


This course uses Brightspace and MS Teams. Course documents, the course manual, announcements etc. can be found via Brightspace. To get access to the Brightspace page of this course, you first need to register via uSis.


This course is open for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree TU Delft and Leiden University). Students can register for the course and exam via uSis.