UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering


Industrial Ecology and Policy

The Industrial Ecology and Policy group investigates the role of public policy in managing the stocks and flows of materials and energy in society.


The industrial ecology and policy group seeks to understand how public policy shapes the use of materials and energy in society. Our methods include material flow analysis (MFA), life cycle assessment (LCA), techno-economic modelling, and policy analysis. We work across disciplines and in collaboration with industry and policymakers. We investigate government interventions that support the transition towards a sustainable circular economy.


Recent and ongoing projects focus on the following subjects.

  • Techno-economic modelling of paper recycling
  • The role of life cycle thinking in public policy
  • Allocation methods for emissions accounting in aviation
  • Non-hazardous waste generation in the U.S.
  • Best practices for material flow analysis of waste


The Industrial Ecology and Policy group is located within the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering​ at University College London. The group is led by Dr Stijn van Ewijk.

PhD students

Chi Zhang. Thesis topic: Decision-making for end-of-life construction timber in a circular economy.

Donald Nwonu (external). Thesis topic: Sustainability assessment of novel low carbon cement technologies.


The group collaborates with academics across UCL and internationally.

  •  UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources
  •  UCL Centre for Resource Efficiency and the Environment
  •  UCL Circular Economy Lab (CircEL)
  •  Yale University, Center for Industrial Ecology

Selected publications

  • Van Ewijk, S., Stegemann, J.A. & Ekins, P. (2020). Limited climate benefits of global recycling of pulp and paper. Nature Sustainability
  • Van Ewijk, S. & McDowall, M. (2020). Diffusion of flue gas desulphurisation reveals barriers and opportunities for carbon capture and storage. Nature Communications.
  • Van Ewijk, S. & Stegemann, J.A. (2020). Recognising waste use potential as a guiding principle for the circular economy. Waste Management.

In the media


Please get in touch if you are interested in pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD (or MSc project) that covers one or more of the following themes: industrial ecology, material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, waste management, circular economy, public policy.