Energy and Resource Systems Analysis Laboratory
McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
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The Energy and Resource Systems Analysis Laboratory (ERSAL) develops mathematical models and decision support tools to quantify opportunities for reducing energy and resource use in industrial technology systems.  Such models and tools can be used by manufacturers and policy makers to identify technological, behavioral, and policy pathways toward more sustainable products and processes.

Specifically, our research aims to improve the energy, resource, and economic efficiencies of:
  • Manufacturing processes and supply chains,
  • Product and material life-cycle systems, and
  • Information technology (IT) systems,
and further includes
  • Manufacturing policy analysis to help achieve these goals.
For further information, please visit our research page. 

Latest News  (news archive)

October 13th, 2014 ....
ERSAL researchers have published two articles resulting from our recent massive open online course (MOOC) on life cycle assessment.  The first, published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, sheds light on the changing characteristics of LCA students.  The second, published in the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, discusses pedagogical opportunities and challenges associated with online LCA courses.

August 26th, 2014 .....

ERSAL staff in the news: Professor Masanet discusses food waste, composting, and in-sink disposals with Debra Shore, Commissioner of Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District on WBEZ's Worldview program.  Listen to the interview here, and read the accompanying EcoMyths article here.

August 18th, 2014 ......
Professor Masanet selected as a participant in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2014 Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium

May 29th, 2014 .....
ERSAL staff in the news: A new study on the energy and emissions implications of streaming video by ERSAL's Ben Walker and Eric Masanet, with Arman Shehabi of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been covered by Smithsonian Magazine,, and other major media.

May 28th, 2014 .....
Professor Masanet selected as a participant in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) 2014 Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

May 27th, 2014 .....
ERSAL staff in the news: Paper or plastic?  Professor Masanet weighs in on Chicago's partial ban of plastic grocery bags on WBEZ's Worldview program.  Listen to the interview here, and read the accompanying EcoMyths article here.

May 21st, 2014 .....
Professor Masanet discusses recycling of photovoltaic panels as an invited panelist at the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Grand Challenge Summit.

May 19th, 2014 .....
Professor Masanet to discuss the idea of "green products" at Chicago's Pint of Science -- the international series of science talks at cities around the world -- at 5:30pm at Bar Louie.  Sign up here!

February 24th, 2014 .....
Professor Masanet discusses the topic "Will Big Data Mean Big Energy for the 21st Century?" as an invited panelist at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC.

January 15th, 2014 .....
Professor Masanet discusses life cycle assessment at Science Cafe for NU alumni and Evanston residents. See the flyer here.

November 25th, 2013 .....
Our Coursera course "How Green Is That Product? An Introduction to Life Cycle Environmental Assessment" will launch on January 25th, 2014.  Sign up here!

November 20th, 2013 .....
Professor Masanet speaks at a U.S. government briefing on data centers and efficiency.  Read about the event here and here.

October 1st, 2013 .....
ERSAL staff in the news: Professor Masanet speaks about rinsing and recycling on WBEZ's Wordview program.  Hear the interview here.

September 9th, 2013 ......
Professor  Masanet and Dr. Mike Walker's research featured in Northwestern news

July 18th, 2013 .....
Professor Masanet's article with Arman Shehabi (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Jon Koomey (Stanford University) on characteristics of low carbon data centers in Nature Climate Change has been covered by GigaOM, Slashdot, Datacenter Dynamics, and other media outlets.

Giga OM logo

Data Center
                                              Dynamics logo

June 27th, 2013 .....
Professor Masanet has been appointed to the Morris E. Fine Research Professorship, effective September 1st

June 25th, 2013 .....
Professor Masanet's article with Arman Shehabi (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Jon Koomey (Stanford University) on characteristics of low carbon data centers appears in Nature Climate Change
                                                          Climate Change
June 15th, 2013 .....
ERSAL staff in the news: ERSAL and LBNL report on the energy efficiency potential of cloud-based business software covered by Forbes, Scientific American, Computer WeeklyGigaOM, and other major media outlets.

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June 10th, 2013 .....
ERSAL and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory release results quantifying the energy savings potential of selected cloud-based software for U.S. businesses.  Read the press release and report here.

June 6th, 2013 .....
Professor Masanet presents at Google's How Green is the Internet? Summit.  View the highlight video here.

June 5th, 2013 .....
Professor Masanet's and Dr. Mike Walker's article on energy-water efficiency in U.S. industrial steam systems has been featured on the cover of the AiChE Journal (Volume 59, Issue 7).  The article was also covered by Chemical Engineering Progress.

AiChE Juy 2013

April 25th, 2013 .......
Professor Masanet joins the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Energy Technology and Policy

April 17, 2013 .......
Congratulations to ERSAL Ph.D. student Yuan Yao, who was selected as a 2013-2014 recipient of the ISEN Cluster Fellowship!

February 22, 2013 .......

ERSAL staff in the news: Professor Masanet to teach a MOOC on life-cycle assessment as part of Northwestern's partnership with Coursera

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January 17, 2013 .......

ERSAL staff in the news: Professor Masanet quoted in Chemistry World

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January 1, 2013 .......

Professor Masanet named new Editor in Chief of the journal Resources, Conservation and Recycling

December 20, 2012 ........
ERSAL welcomes Dr. Venkata Krishna K. Upadhyayula as a research associate

December 3, 2012 ........
ERSAL staff in the news: Professor Masanet talks about vampire power and green electronics on WBEZ's Worldview program

Contact Us

Energy and Resource Systems Analysis Lab (ERSAL)
Technological Institute
2145 Sheridan Road, E127
Evanston, IL 60208-3100

ERSAL Talks & Events

10/8/2014 - Green Grid Forum, San Francisco, CA. TOPIC: Missing data for resource efficient IT?

8/5/2014 - U.S. NSF Sustainable Engineering Education Community Workshop, Washington, DC.
TOPIC: Reflections on a Life Cycle Assessment MOOC

6/26/2014 - U.S. EPA and ITIC Workshop on Intelligent Systems Efficiency, Washington, DC.
TOPIC: Metrics for Intelligent Systems Efficiency?

6/16/2014 - U.S. NIST Workshop on Smart Manufacturing Systems Design and Analysis for Enabling American Competitiveness, Gaithersburg, MD. 
TOPIC: Materials Efficiency.

5/23/2014 - ANSER Solar Energy Symposium, Evanston, IL.
TOPIC: Prospective LCA of Energy Technologies

5/21/2014 - U.S. DOE SunShot Grand Challenge Tech Forum, Anaheim, CA. TOPIC: PV Hardware Recycling

5/19/2014 - Pint of Science: Chicago.  TOPIC:  Green products?

3/14/2014 - China NSF US NSF Workshop on Sustainable Manufacturing, Wuhan, China.  TOPIC: Supply Chain Energy and Resource Management

3/5/2014 - Seminar, Illinois Institute of Technology.  TOPIC: Prospective LCA for Advanced Manufacturing.

2/24/2014 - ARPA-E Summit. TOPIC: Big Data and Energy Use

2/21/2014 - Seminar, University of Michigan.  TOPIC: Supply Chain Energy and Resource Management

1/23/2014 - Seminar, University of Chicago.  TOPIC: Industrial Sustainability Through Supply Chain Energy Management

1/15/2014 - Science at the Cafe, Evanston, IL. TOPIC: How green is that product? 

11/20/2013 - Public Hearing, Washington, DC. TOPIC: Next-Gen Data Centers: Bringing Energy Efficiency to Government

10/11/2013 - World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, New York. TOPIC: Understanding Electronics and Sustainability

10/1/2013 - DatacenterDynamics Converged Chicago. TOPIC: Can the Cloud Save Energy?

9/10/2013 - ACS National Meeting, Indianapolis. TOPIC: Environmental Costs and Benefits of Electronics

8/20/2013 - WCCE9, Seoul, Korea.
TOPIC: Sustainability Assessment of Next-Generation Chemical Processes

6/28/2013 - ISIE 2013, Ulsan, Korea. TOPIC: Leveraging Supply Chains as Energy and Materials Efficiency Resources

6/6/2013 - Google Summit: How Green is the Internet? Mountain View, California. TOPIC: U.S. energy efficiency potential of cloud computing

5/2/2013 - University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Distinguished Speaker Series. TOPIC: 
Enabling energy and resource efficient manufacturing supply chains

3/21/2013 - U.S. Department of Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office Seminar, Washington DC. TOPIC: Life-cycle valuation of next-generation manufacturing technologies

2/25/2013 - Clemson University Seminar, South Carolina. TOPIC: Prospective analysis of next-generation manufacturing processes

1/18/2013 - Green ICT for Sustainable Consumption?, Vienna, Austria. TOPIC: Quantifying the benefits of ICT

11/15/2012 - Greenbuild, San Francisco, California. TOPIC: Greener buildings through site-specific LCA

11/14/2012 - SETAC North America, Long Beach, California. TOPIC: LCA of advanced manufacturing technologies

10/31/2012 - World Energy Engineering Congress, Atlanta, Georgia. TOPIC: Industrial energy efficiency

10/15/2012 - Sustainable Electronics Forum. Racine, Wisconsin.

- LCA XII, Tacoma, Washington. TOPIC:
LCA for materials efficiency

9/12/2012 - Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China. TOPIC: Supply chain energy efficiency

2013 Northwestern University