Dr. Callie Babbitt
Our research group focuses on developing and applying tools to understand and manage the life cycle implications of emerging technologies. Specific focal areas are consumer electronics, nanomaterials, photovoltaics, and lithium ion batteries. These sectors represent complex sustainability challenges, as they are characterized by rapid development, adoption, and evolution; high potential for environmental impact across all life cycle stages; and a lack of comprehensive data that can be used to accurately quantify potential environmental impact. As a result, it is a nontrivial exercise to simply apply existing industrial ecology tools like life cycle assessment (LCA) or heuristical design for environment (DfE). Instead, these complex systems require new frameworks, tools, and methods that provide meaningful policy- and practice-relevant results and are adaptive to the unique challenges mentioned above. We are particularly interested in new industrial ecology models inspired by or adapted from biological ecology.
I am always interested in talking to motivated, creative, and independent students interested in our M.S. or Ph.D. programs.
Strong analytical and computer skills, previous research experience, systems thinking, and backgrounds in chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, environmental science, or mathematics are preferred. Please review our publications and funded projects first.
Since the problems and the solutions of sustainability transcend the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines, their efforts will only succeed if developed within horizontal, multi-disciplinary settings. While academic disciplines like engineering, science, mathematics,
and economics provide the theoretical foundations essential to achieving sustainable systems, it is necessary to integrate knowledge from these fields to create a new systems-level understanding of both causal and response phenomena in sustainability. The Sustainability program curriculum links discipline-specific science with an understanding of the integrative sciences of sustainability. Courses are highly collaborative, team-based, and embedded in the broader context of economic, environmental and social understanding. Specific courses I teach include:
“Fundamentals of Sustainability Science” - This course introduces graduate students in the Sustainability program to the fundamental skills and concepts required to conduct original research related to the interaction of industrial and environmental systems.
“Industrial Ecology” - The primary emphasis on this course is the demonstration and application of industrial ecology tools (material flow analysis, life cycle assessment, systems modeling) to fundamental research questions in sustainability.
“Climate Change Science and Solutions” - This course provides a broad overview of climate change science and impacts, as well as an introduction to creating and evaluating technological, social, policy, or economic solutions for climate change mitigation.
“Sustainable Product Design” - This course teams up students from Sustainability and Industrial Design to tackle real-world examples of the integration of sustainability factors with traditional product design methods.
“Applied Life Cycle Assessment” - This course builds on fundamental principles of LCA by allowing students to conduct project-based studies on the application of LCA to real-world sustainability issues.
“Expanding Industrial Ecology by Applying Community Ecology Principles and Developing Diversity Metrics for Sustainable Product Systems,” U.S. EPA STAR Fellowship for Erinn Ryen (2011-2014).
“Sustainable Design for Evolving ICT Devices,” PI with Gabrielle Gaustad and Alex Lobos. Funded by AT&T (2011-2012).
“Environmentally Preferable End-of-Life Management for Li-Ion Batteries,” Co-PI with Gabrielle Gaustad and Brian Landi. Funded by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (2010-2012).\
“Quantifying Environmental Risks and Opportunities for Nano-Scale LiFePO4 and LiMnO2 Cathode Battery Technologies at End-of-Life,” Co-PI with Gabrielle Gaustad and Brian Landi. Funded by National Science Foundation (2011-2014)
“Developing Environmentally Benign Battery Recycling Processes: Characterizing "Green" Leaching Agents,” Joint PI with Gabrielle Gaustad. Funded by NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation (2011-2014).
“Evaluation of sustainable design tools and processes for Kodak product sectors.” PI, Funded by Kodak Corporation (completed 2011).
“Analysis of E-Waste Material Flows, and Opportunities for Improved Material Recovery,” Co-PI with Nabil Nasr, Michael Thurston, Robert German, and Allen Lucitti. Funded by Intel Corporation (completed 2010).
Babbitt, C.W.; Williams, E.; Kahhat, R. 2011 “Institutional disposition and management of end-of-life electronics.” Environmental Science
and Technology 45 (12), 5366-5372. DOI: 10.1021/es1028469
Anctil, A., Babbitt, C.W., Raffaelle, R.P., Landi, B.J. 2011. “Material and energy intensity of fullerene production.” Environmental Science & Technology 45 (6), 2353–2359. DOI: 10.1021/es103860a
Deng, L., Babbitt, C.W., Williams, E. 2011. “Economic-balance hybrid LCA extended with uncertainty analysis: case study of a laptop computer.” Journal of Cleaner Production 19 (11), 1198-1206. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.03.004
Babbitt, C.W., Lindner, A.S. 2011. “Effect of nitrogen source on methanol oxidation and genetic diversity of methylotrophic mixed cultures enriched from pulp and paper mill biofilms” Biodegradation 22(2), pp. 309-320. DOI: 10.1007/s10532-010-9400-x
Babbitt, C.W., Kahhat, R., Williams, E., Babbitt, G.A. 2009. “Evolution of product lifespan and implications for environmental assessment and management: a case study of personal computers in higher education.” Environmental Science and Technology 43: 5106-5112. DOI: 10.1021/es803568p
Babbitt, C.W., Pacheco, A.P., Lindner, A.S. 2009. “Methanol removal performance and microbial ecology of an activated carbon biofilter.” Bioresource Technology. 100(24): 6207-6216. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2009.06.110
Babbitt, C.W.; Stokke, J.M.; Mazyck, D.W.; Lindner, A.S. 2009. “A design-based life cycle assessment of hazardous air pollutant control options at pulp and paper mills: A comparison of thermal oxidation to photocatalytic oxidation and biofiltration.” Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 84: 725-737. DOI: 10.1002/jctb.2105
Babbitt, C.W., Lindner, A.S. 2008. “A life cycle comparison of disposal and beneficial use of coal combustion products in Florida; Part 2: Impact assessment of disposal and beneficial use options.” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 13(7): 555-563. DOI: 10.1007/s11367-008-0026-8
Babbitt, C.W., Lindner, A.S. 2008. “A life cycle comparison of disposal and beneficial use of coal combustion products in Florida; Part 1: Methodology and inventory of material, energy, and emissions. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 13(3): 202-211. DOI: 10.1065/lca2007.07.353
Babbitt, C.W., Lindner, A.S. 2005. “A life cycle inventory of coal used for electricity production in Florida.” Journal of Cleaner Production. 13(9): 903-912. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2004.04.007
Lindner, A.S.; Whitfield (Babbitt), C.; Chen, N.; Semrau, J.D.; Adriaens, P. 2003. “Quantitative structure-biodegradation relationships for ortho-substituted biphenyl compounds oxidized by Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b.” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22(10): 2251-2257. DOI: 10.1897/02-387