Master Arbeiten

Goal of the study: Identification of frameworks towards sustainability assessment

The study will perform a state of the art on assessment practice within transport infrastructure including existing Life Cycle Assessment but also sustainability assessment studies. On this basis proposals are given to enhance current assessment practice towards a broader implementation of all three pillars of sustainability.

The thesis should be written in English.

Contact: Marzia Traverso – marzia.traverso@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Goal of study: Identifying current gaps and research needs to a quantitative assessment of impacts related to marine plastic litter.

The work will focus on reviewing the various inventory methods and their suitability in providing input data for the assessment of impacts related to marine litter. Besides the environmental perspective, impacts on social and economic dimensions will be considered. A roadmap on bridging the gap between inventory and impact assessment will be developed to guide research community on the way forward.

Thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Rose Mankaa – rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Goal of study: Definition of impact category aspects necessary to assess impacts from macro and micro plastics.

Develop a list of criteria needed for impact categories for macro and micro plastics. Apply the set of criteria in evaluating current Life cycle impact assessment methods against their completeness and appropriateness in capturing impacts related to macro and micro plastics released in the environment.

Thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Rose Mankaa – rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

A complex world
· Impacts = Population x Affluence x Technologies
· A can be defined as consumption
· T can be defined as life cycle impacts of technologies, processes, products, services
· P and A have been increasing, T can act as a (partial) counterbalance
Goal of study:
· Estimate global impacts with respect to key indicators (e.g. primary energy, GWP)
· Understand macro-trends and if impacts can be controlled with technology only (eco-efficiency strategy) or if there is the need to adhere to the planet boundaries (eco-effective strategy)
· How to find a balance?

The thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Marzia Traverso – marzia.traverso@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Different types of materials needed for the activities of humankind
· Four macro-categories according to Eurostat : metals, non-metallic minerals, biomass, fossil fuels
· ADP and primary energy used for metals and fossil fuels, respectively
· Apparently no widely agreed aggregated indicator, nor for other categories

Goal of study:
· Review indicators
· Make a proposal on how to assess different categories and to aggregate them in a single score or in more indicators. A review of the state of the art should be included and starting from it, you should develop your proposal. A knowledge on LCA is a pre-requirement to develop this Thesis.

The thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Marzia Traverso – marzia.traverso@inab.rwth-aachen.de​

Indicator weighting in LCSA in the primary production – current approaches, mainly used indicators in LCA, S-LCA and LCC, critical validation and identification of best practice

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) is a relatively new method, which combines LCA (Life Cycle Assessment), LCC (Life Cycle Costing) and S-LCA (Social Life Cycle Assessment) to evaluate all three pillars of sustainability. As a relatively new life cycle methodology, currently there is no standard (interpretation) methodology or framework for LCSA. Looking at the results of decision makers evaluating the importance of each pillar, a vast variety without clear clustering is found. Additionally, the focus is (still) more of a personal than a functional issue.

Questions within this thesis:

  • which and how many indicators are currently aggregated in state-of-the-art literature and how the results are interpreted (literature review),
  • should all indicators within one pillar be weighted equally,
  • is weighting relevant at all and
  • how to weight e.g. GWP against land use or resource use (LCA pillar) and to what extent.

The target is:

  • to develop a proposal of the most important indicators for each pillar,
  • a weighting-idea for the 3 pillars,
  • finally the development of an assessment tool for LCSA.

The thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Jana Backes – jana.backes@inab.rwth-aachen.de

The Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) approach is a new method, which combines the three pillars of sustainability (ecology (LCA), economy (LCC) and society (S-LCA). As a relatively new life cycle methodology, currently there is no standard (interpretation) methodology or framework for LCSA – which also leads to different interpretations of LCSA.
A study from 2019 states that decision-makers working in the field of sustainability consider the pillars ecology and society to be more important than decision-makers who are not active in the field of sustainability. According to the study, the weighting of the three pillars is therefore a personal rather than a functional issue.
In the context of this thesis, published literature will be reviewed and a practical approach (correlation of personal interest, field of study and weighting/interpretation of sustainability criteria on the basis of a statistically relevant questionnaire) to accept or discard current statements will be set up. 

The thesis must be written in English. The questionnaire can be set up either in English or German.

Contact: Jana Backes – jana.backes@inab.rwth-aachen.de

The UNEP/SETAC Guidelines as well as the Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment are two internationally recognized documents that propose a variety of indicators for social life cycle assessment (S-LCA) of products and services. The proposed indicators, though, are only partly suitable for the assessment of mobility services like car-sharing, bike-sharing or public transportation services. In addition, the assessment of the use-phase plays an important role for the evaluation of mobility services. However, the evaluation of the use-phase has been underrepresented in previous S-LCA case studies. Therefore, in cooperation with BMW Group in Munich, a set of indicators for social sustainability assessment of mobility services has been developed. These indicators comprise issues as for example affordability, space occupancy or noise pollution.

The aim of this thesis is
– to apply the developed set of indicators to different mobility services in Munich (car-sharing, electric scooter-sharing, bus, u-bahn/s-bahn/tram) as well as to private vehicles
– to gather necessary information and data, partly through expert interviews
– to evaluate the selected mobility services and compare them in terms of social sustainability
– to critically evaluate the developed set of indicators.

The thesis must be written in English and will be supervised in cooperation with BMW Group in Munich.

Contact: Katharina Gompf – Katharina.Gompf@bmw.de

Goal of study: Review: Impact category methods for marine litter Life Cycle Assessment.

Carry out a review on current research in the development of impact category methods specific to marine plastic. This will include a literature review of scientific publications and findings of research projects addressing marine litter.

Thesis must be written in English.

Contact: Rose Mankaa – rose.mankaa@inab.rwth-aachen.de

Bachelor Arbeiten

Due to urbanization and growing population, traffic in cities around the world is rising. City authorities are therefore trying to find new solutions to reduce emissions and improve quality of life in urban areas. Mobility services, especially car-sharing or ride hailing, are often seen as one possible solution to the problem due to higher efficiency and occupancy rate. On the other hand, studies suggest rising traffic after the implementation of services like car-sharing or ride hailing. The question that remains is: can car-sharing or ride hailing services contribute to a higher quality of life in urban areas? If so, what are the necessary preconditions?

The aim of this thesis is:
– a detailed literature review of existing studies about effects of car-sharing and ride hailing on city traffic and space occupancy
– evaluation of the necessary preconditions for positive impacts on quality of life in urban areas
– summarizing the results and recommendations for mobility service providers.

For this thesis, English is the preferred language. It will be supervised in cooperation with BMW Group in Munich.

Contact: Katharina Gompf – Katharina.Gompf@bmw.de

Studienarbeiten

(Zu diesem Themenfeld können mehrere Studienarbeiten vergeben werden.)

Basierend auf dem Sustainable Development Goal 12 der Vereinten Nationen, das einen nachhaltigen Konsum zum Ziel hat, soll das Instrument der Ökolabel dahingehend untersucht werden, in wie weit die Anforderungen der Nachhaltigkeit mit den drei Säulen „Ökonomie“, „Ökologie“ und „Soziales“ durch verschiedene Ökolabel abgedeckt werden. Durch den Vergleich und ggf. die Kombination bestehender Ökolabel soll ein neuer Ansatz skizziert werden, der das Ziel der Vereinten Nationen bestmöglich unterstützt.

Arbeit wird auf Deutsch geschrieben.

Contact: Roland Meyer – roland.meyer@inab.rwth-aachen.de