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Circular Economy and Smart Cities relations to Environmental footprints

Dr. Jiří Jaromír KLEMEŠ
Sustainable Process Integration Laboratory
NETME Centre, Mechanical Engineering
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
1:00-2:30 pm, Toyota Auditorium, Howard Baker Center


The circular economy is a system which can be achieved by slowing, closing and narrowing loops of material and energy flows regeneratively. The concept has been initially economically oriented. Environmental concern has been gradually embedded to the traditional concept in the recent year but still deserves more attention. Internet of Things (IoT) goes beyond the use of ICT for a quality/convenience of life. It facilitates sustainable resources and environmental management, mainly through sensor technology and connectivity. The benefits of IoT implementation in a city include providing insight for energy, water and resources conservation, increase process efficiency, predictive maintenance and establish of big data through monitoring system (e.g. real-time). The technical feasibility of smart cities and their roles towards the realization of a circular economy have been significantly increased with the evolution of IoT technologies. Smart cities are responsive, intelligent, connected and sustainable. The significant developments that are contributing to the greener cities are smart energy, smart infrastructure, smart mobility, smart water management and smart waste management. There is a research gap on the offset/saving versus the environmental footprints of the IT sector. The overall reduction of energy consumption through the integration of IoT is yet to be verified. IoT is often regarded as a low GHG emissions enabler; however, the widespread adoption has could adversely be turned into a power drainer. There has been an effort to minimize the negative impact of IoT, for example, recovering the waste heat in data storage. However, efficiency still has to be improved. This study highlights that circularity and the smart city should be progress in a sustainable manner where the net environmental footprints are lower than the original/linear system.


Dr. Jiri Klemeš is the Head of “Sustainable Process Integration Laboratory – SPIL”, NETME Centre, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology – VUT Brno, Czech Republic. He has a track record of managing and coordinating 91 major EC, NATO and UK Know-How projects with over 21 M€. He has been awarded by the Web of Science and Publons a Highly Cited Researcher, Top Peer Reviewer and Top Handling Editor. He has authored and co-authored close to 500 papers, has an h-index in Google Scholar of 52 and in Scopus without self-reference 47. A number of books were published by Dr. Klemeš at Elsevier, De Gruyter, Woodhead, McGraw-Hill, Ashgate Publishing, Cambridge, Springer, WILEY-VCH, and Taylor & Francis. Dr. Klemeš has been 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.