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Design of Sustainable Technological Systems


Admission requirements

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


In this course an introduction will be given on principles and methodologies of sustainable design with specific attention to Industrial Symbiosis. The students are trained in setting up and solving material and energy balances and developing indicator frameworks. The insights from balance calculations and indicator applications are used for re-designing industrial clusters with the aim to turn those into eco-industrial networks. Analysis and design for eco-industrial parks and industrial symbiosis are the major topics in bringing all various aspects and issues together, students will work on existing cases and have to come with applicable adaptations to those case studies.

Learning goals

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • explain concepts, methods, and methodologies necessary for assessing, evaluating, and achieving sustainable technology

  • solve mass and energy balances related to sustainable technologies

  • discuss design aspects of industrial products and production processes

  • explain the fundamentals at the hand of flowsheets of several standardized industrial activities and production processes

  • paraphrase several eco-design methods, like cradle to cradle and the natural step

  • demonstrate and criticise the use of eco-design methods to realistic case studies

  • discuss and illustrate the principles and methodologies of design for eco-industrial parks

  • demonstrate and criticise the use of design methodologies of design for eco-industrial parks to realistic case studies

  • explain drivers and barriers in processes of engineering and design

Teaching methods / mode of instruction

Lectures, interactive discussion with lecturers, instruction on balance calculations, test of calculation skills, and individual assignments on case studies.

Type of assessment

Written exam and Design assignment, the minimum requirement for both assignments is is 5,0. The written exam counts for 50% to the final grade, the design assignment counts for 50%.
Final grades are expressed by means of a figure between 1 and 10, rounded to the nearest half. 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.

Course materials / reading list

Articles, book chapters, lecture slides. All are made available during the course via Brightspace.


All students have to enroll for the course via Brightspace (before the start of the course) and for the exam via uSis, Leiden University.

Students who are not enrolled for the MSc Industrial Ecology, have to ask for permission from the study advisor of Industrial Ecology ( to join this course, at least one month before the start of the course. After permission students can enroll for the course via Brightspace. This is different for TU Delft students not enrolled in the MSc Industrial Ecology who can choose this course as an elective and only have to ask permission from the course/module manager ( two months before the start of the course.

Exchange students can only enroll for this course if their home university has an exchange agreement with both Leiden University and TU Delft. Exchange students have to ask for permission from the study advisor of Industrial Ecology ( as soon as possible, preferably six months before the start of the course.


More information and the description of the course is published in the e-studyguide of TU Delft.