Wood Products as Sustainable Materials
Wood products have received increasing interest in recent years as sustainable alternatives to traditional carbon-intensive materials. Assessing the potential environmental, economic, and societal implications of wood products is critical to support decision-making related to product development, technology investment, and policy. This talk will overview industrial ecology tools such as the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that can be used to evaluate the impacts across the life cycle of wood-based materials and products. The talk will also discuss innovative systems modeling frameworks that we have developed. These modeling frameworks use interdisciplinary approaches to simulate the dynamics associated with forest, wood manufacturing, and product end of life. This talk will present examples of how these integrated systems analyses can enhance the engineering, process, and supply chain design for sustainable wood products and bio-based materials.
Dr. Yuan Yao is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Systems in the Yale School of the Environment at Yale University. Before joining Yale, she was an Assistant Professor of Sustainability Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Yao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in the United States. She uses interdisciplinary approaches in industrial ecology, green engineering, and data analytics to support the sustainable development of new materials and technologies. Dr. Yao received the U.S. National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER Award for her research on sustainable biochar applications. She has been named to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers “35 Under 35” list for emerging chemical engineering leaders. She serves as the Associate Editor for the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling. She also served on the Technical Advisory Group for LEAP Partnership in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.