"Then I say the Earth belongs to each generation during its course, fully and in its right no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its existence"

Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Report of the U.N. Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, 1987

"If there are to be problems, may they come during my life-time so that I can resolve them and give my children the chance of a good life."

Kenyan proverb


Special sessions

SPECIAL SESSION: Engineering a Sustainable Circular Economy: Materials, Energy and Infrastructure Integration for Smart Cities and Industry
Session resume:

Circular Economy has emerged as a popular research topic that is shaping public policy in Europe, China, America and elsewhere. It has been the subject of more than 1,500 research papers in the past two years. Conceptually, Circular Economy is not complicated. It includes recycling, recovering, and reusing material and energy flows will make a system more circular, thereby reducing raw material inputs and waste outputs. Important criticisms of Circular Economy, however, point out that it lacks consideration for sustainability in Circular Economy business model, respect for physical law (thermodynamics), and robust engineering methods to design a Circular Economy. These current shortfalls make it necessary to develop the Circular Economy framework further, accounting for the fact that the Sustainable Development needs to form a central goal, while engineering analysis and design can provide the toolset for achieving that goal. The concept of Circular Integration, as an engineering-based framework, was proposed to address these issues and to support collective progress towards a Sustainable Circular Economy. All macro-systems contain inherent trade-offs between material and energy flows, which influence the design and performance of the system. Understanding and optimising these trade-offs are critical to maximising the sustainability of a system.

The session invites contributions that aim to support the development of a Sustainable Circular Economy. Papers that look at the roles of and trade-offs between materials, energy, and infrastructure in the context of a Sustainable Circular Economy are most welcome. As a fundamental engineering principle, the integration of processes, sites and regions provides a technical description for the recycling, recovering, and reusing material and energy flows that applies to multi-scales, and will be highlighted as part of this session. Moving towards a Sustainable Circular Economy also entails essential reductions in greenhouse gas, NOx, SOx, and particulate emissions, improvements in water and land management, optimisation of footprints, and better utilisation of infrastructure. The goal of the session is to provide a platform for exchanging ideas and knowledge, stimulating discussion, and fostering international collaboration on the subject of Sustainable Circular Economy.

Prof. Jiří Jaromír Klemeš
Brno University of Technology - VUT Brno
Brno, Czech Republic
Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Cleaner Production. The founder and President for 24 y of PRES (Process Integration for Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction) conferences. Chairperson of CAPE Working Party of EFCE, a member of WP on Process Intensification and of the EFCE Sustainability platform. He authored and co-authored more than 700 papers, h-index reaching 65. A number of books published by Elsevier, Woodhead, McGraw-Hill; Ashgate Publishing Cambridge; Springer; WILEY-VCH; Taylor & Francis).
Several times Distinguished Visiting Professor at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and University Technology Petronas, Malaysia; Xi’an Jiaotong University; South China University of Technology, Guangzhou and Tianjin University in China; University of Maribor, Slovenia; Brno University of Technology and the Russian Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology, Moscow. Doctor Honoris Causa of Kharkiv National University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute” in Ukraine, the University of Maribor in Slovenia, University POLITEHNICA Bucharest, Romania. “Honorary Doctor of Engineering Universiti Teknologi Malaysia”. Awarded with “Honorary Membership of Czech Society of Chemical Engineering", "European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) Life-Time Achievements Award" and "Pro Universitaire Pannonica" Gold Medal.
Prof. Petar Sabev Varbanov
Szechenyi Istvan University
Gyor, Hungary
Prof Dr Habil Petar Varbanov is a Senior Researcher at the Szechenyi Istvan University in Gyor, Hungary. He obtained his PhD in Process Integration at a prestigious British University – UMIST, Manchester, with distinction. For performing research on minimising and mitigating Climate Change he was awarded a scholarship from the UK Tyndall Centre. Later he was awarded a prestigious Marie Curie EIF Fellowship and successfully performed research on Optimising the Start-up of Distillation Columns at the Technische Universität Berlin. This was followed by a Marie Curie ERG Fellowship for assisting his integration into the University of Pannonia – Hungary, where he is a Deputy Head of the Centre for Process Integration and Intensification CPI2. His experience covers energy saving, optimisation of energy supply networks, Process Synthesis and Process Operation. His research has been successfully implemented in collaboration with industrial partners: e.g. BP (UK) and MOL (Hungary). He has been contributing to 25 research and consultancy projects (most within the EC funding schemes) and has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is a co-author of four books and several chapters in books.
He has been the Editor for “Energy – The International Journal” published by Elsevier.

Invited papers (11)
SPECIAL SESSION: Role of project management and geospatial innovations in smart urban development
Session resume:

Globally, the development industry is experiencing unprecedented shifts in technology, materials, human resources and automation. From the headquarters of multi-national corporations through to small to medium enterprises, the implications of such disruption is experienced in the calls for project tenders, scheduling and resourcing expectations, and increasing demands with regard to low-carbon metrics, low-toxic materials, waste management, and onsite environmental stewardship.

Over the last several years in particular, numerous conferences and forums have been focused on what it means to practice in the 21st Century, with exciting insights into new systems and processes that are empowering stakeholders in transforming projects towards on-time, on-budget outcomes that are good for planet.

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Prof. Cheryl Desha
Griffith University
Nathan, Australia
Associate Professor Cheryl Desha has been working for the past two decades, with colleagues in Australia and overseas to build capacity for place-based (geospatial), nature-loving (biophilic), and nature-inspired (biomimetic) design. This includes capacity building for whole system thinking, resource productivity, decoupling and sustainable business practice, to foster urban nature for resilient and liveable cities. Her career goal is to facilitate sustainable development by empowering society with emerging language, knowledge and skills related to achieving sustainable solutions. Through her leadership roles within the International Society of Digital Earth as leader of the Australian Chapter’s research node, the Energy Efficiency Council of Australia, she advocates for interdisciplinary problem-solving and methods towards breakthrough solutions. She has co-authored more than 100 publications including 7 books, 2 of which have been listed in the top 40 publications by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. She has co-led four projects within the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre and managed more than AUD $1.5 million of research projects in behaviour change towards sustainable development. In 2019 Griffith University joined the UN-GGIM Academic Network and is a member of ProSPER.Net.
Ms. Samantha Hayes
Bioneering Australia
Brisbane, Australia
Samantha is a sustainability professional with extensive experience in delivering strategic organisational and project-level sustainability outcomes across multiple industries. Currently pursuing a PhD in Biomimetic Engineering, Samantha also holds a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of Sydney, as well as a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) with First Class Honours from the University of Queensland.
In her previous role, Samantha was responsible for establishing and leading the energy and sustainability functions of an international engineering contracting company with over $13 billion of work in hand and up to 200 project sites at any given time. Samantha has developed and implemented award winning energy management; environmental and sustainability strategies to address key risks and opportunities across the mining, construction, telecommunications and infrastructure services sectors. In addition to strategy and governance, Samantha has significant experience in the delivery of detailed project level sustainability outcomes, including comprehensive modelling, measurement and reporting.

Invited papers (6)

Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.