1122895 (Matthews). This symposium is being organized by the Student Chapter of International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) with mentoring from Dr. H. Scott Matthews, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, CMU. The aim is to encourage and financially support participation by students and post-doctoral researchers in the symposium and the ISIE 2011 Conference immediately preceding it. The theme isdealing with uncertainty in industrial ecology (IE). An objective is to promote communication among graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in industrial ecology (IE) about their research ideas and experiences. Members of groups underrepresented in IE are especially encouraged to apply for support. The symposium is an opportunity for students and young professionals in IE to present their ongoing research, receive constructive feedback from their peers, and network with senior professionals in their field. In particular, the event will enable young professionals in the U.S. to establish an international network of IE researchers for ongoing exchange and future collaborations

Project Report

This project was funded to support the attendance of young scholars to the International Society for Industrial Ecology's biannual conference in 2011 which was held on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley (near San Francisco). Students funded to attend the conference also participated in a one day special event for them called the Second Symposium on Industrial Ecology for Young Professionals (SIEYP). SIEYP was intended to provide an opportunity for students and young professionals in Industrial Ecology to present their ongoing research, receive constructive feedback from their peers, and network with each other and with senior professionals in their field in a less formal environment than a traditional conference. Eight senior professionals and 77 students/young professionals attended SIEYP II. Of these attendees, 48 received some kind of travel support from NSF. Thirty student participants were female (39%) and 47 participants (61%) were male. Forty-three universities from 16 countries were represented. SIEYP consisted of presentations, a professional development workshop held during lunch, and a poster session. Presentations were organized into four themes. Each presentation was 20 minutes long, with 10 minutes for questions. The themes of the conference included Life Cycle Assessment, climate change policy, data uncertainty, and industrial ecology case studies. We tried to create a casual atmosphere during the presentations to allow a dialogue between the presenters and the audience, rather than a structured question-and-answer session like is often found in conferences. Over lunch there was a professional development session to discuss issues of relevance to young scholars to be aware of opportunities and hiring procedures in academia, consulting, and industry for a global audience. The Symposium was very well received. In an exit survey, 92% of attendees felt that the presentation and poster quality was either "excellent" or "very good." A similar amount felt that the conference was well organized. Participants felt that the primary overall benefits from the Symposium were "learning about ongoing research in Industrial Ecology" (81%) and "Networking with other students and faculty" (92%). One attendee commented that this "was the first student Symposium [I’ve] attended, and [I] found it very interesting and useful. [I]think that meeting other students and seeing what they’re working on and their institutes are important for seeking collaboration opportunities." The professional development workshop was especially well received. One attendee said the following: "The lunch seminar where we broke into small groups was very good. It was nice to be able to talk to an ‘expert’ or seasoned professor with a small group of peers. Easier to ask questions." These survey results and comments suggest that SIEYP II’s primary goals of providing a forum for students to present their work, receive constructive feedback, and network with peers were accomplished.

Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Carnegie-Mellon University
United States
Zip Code