Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad — Teaching


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Engineers are uniquely positioned to play a central role in addressing sustainability challenges by fundamentally changing the materials and processes used by society. For this to happen, however, engineers must begin to consider the environmental impacts of their design choices and will require additional analytical tools to quantify those broader implications.  These needs form my core teaching subject areas:
• Materials recycling and recovery
• Tools and methods for sustainability engineers
I view the field of sustainability as a way to fundamentally shift the way engineers and scientists make technology, design, processing, and materials decisions.

In the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, adaptability and flexibility are key teaching criteria. Sustainability is not only a broad and multi-disciplinary field, but it is one still in development and with conflicting definitions and theories. As the field continues to progress (and most likely with increasing rapidity), the faculty will need to adapt and adjust to new methods, theories, and teaching philosophies as they develop. The GIS PhD and MS attract an extremely diverse student body consisting of engineers from biology, electrical, materials, chemical, and mechanical departments as well as ecologists and social scientists. Flexibility will therefore be necessary in the teaching styles, highlighted applications, and curriculum in general.
Publications relating to teaching: P13

5001-806-01 Risk Analysis
GIS Core Course Winter Quarter
This course examines the three pillars of sustainability (economy, environment, society) from a risk analytic perspective and presents an introduction to financial, toxicological and socio-political risk assessment, management and communication. Topics include utility theory, net present value analysis, benefit-cost analysis, ecotoxicology, environmental impact statements, environmental justice, risk management and risk communication. This course prepares students for further study in sustainabale design, decision making and policy. (A minimum of four credits in calculus (or higher); 1016-319 Data Analysis I (or equivalent); 1016-320 Data Analysis II (or equivalent); any one of the following: Phyics, chemistry or biology; research experience and graduate standing recommended; exceptions by permission of Instructor. Class 4 Credit 4 (W)

5001-808-01 Multi-criteria decision analysis
GIS Core Course Spring Quarter
This course introduces and applies methods in systems analysis, tradeoffs, and decision making in the context of multi-criteria issues in sustainable production systems by building on basic decision analysis concepts introduced in 5001-806 Risk Analysis. Students requiring additional depth or breadth in this topic area to support their research will likely take additional coursework as electives. (A minimum of four credits in calculus (or higher); 1016-319 Data Analysis I (or equivalent); 1016-320 Data Analysis II (or equivalent); any one of the following: physics, chemistry or biology; exceptions are by permission of Instructor). Class 4, Credit 4 (S)

5001-700-06 Special Topics - Material cycling: closing the loop
Winter Quarter 2009-2010
This class will explore the economic and environmental incentives for recycling and resource recovery. The focus will be on end-of-life fate of materials (including plastics, metals, glass, and e-waste) while setting these within the context of overall ecosystem flows (carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen cycles, waste water, etc.). Technologies for the upgrading of secondary material streams will be studied including: physical and physico-chemical (beneficiation, electrostatic and magnetic separation), hydrometallurgical (selective precipitation, leaching, ion exchange), biotechnological (biosorption, sulfate reduction),and pyrometallurgical (filtration and fluxing). Production issues (product quality, remelt thermodynamics, exergy accounting, etc.) within the secondary industry will be explored with an emphasis on removing barriers to increased usage of scrap. Efforts for enhanced collection efforts and motivation of consumer and firm participation will also be covered (municipal collection fees, corporate take-back initiatives, legislation such as the WEEE directive, state deposits, etc.). Class 4 Credit 4 (W)

5001-710-01 Special Topics - Tools for PhD Research
Fall Quarter 2010
This class will introduce graduate students to tools and software that will be of use in conducting, analyzing, and presenting their research. An introduction, highlights of key features, and the basics of operation will be taught for software aimed at: bibliographic referencing (e.g., Endnote, Latex), statistical analysis (e.g., Excel, SPSS, SAS), analytical work (e.g., Matlab, Mathematic, Maple), advanced plotting (e.g., Deltagraph, Illustrator, Origin), equation editing (e.g., Mathtype), and search engines (e.g., setting up RSS feeds, material property databases). Assignments will be direct applications to thesis/dissertation research. Class 4, Credit 4

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