2016 Annual Highlights of News and Research
at U-M Center for Sustainable Systems
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25th Anniversary

Sep 28 - Oct 1, 2016
A three day celebration brought alumni, external advisory board, partners and the student body together to celebrate the Center's past achievements & envision pathways to our future impact.

This event kicked off with the 15th Wege Lecture on Sustainability delivered by Bill Clark of Harvard's Kennedy School.  You may view his talk, "Pursuing Sustainability: Linking Science and Practice" here.
Top 10 Achievements

Top Ten Achievements

As we prepared for this milestone anniversary, we compiled a list of our major successes in the first 25 years. Read about what we've done.  This is a great foundation for our continued impact in the next 25!
Top 10 Achievements

Prodigal Son Returns!

Geoff Lewis first came to U-M when it was called SNR.  After earning three degrees and working two years as an Alcoa Conservation and Sustainability Postdoc Fellow, he took a faculty position at the University of Waterloo, earning tenure in 2015.  Ann Arbor kept calling him, and in February 2016, he returned home.  

He now enjoys being a Research Area Specialist Lead at the heart of CSS.
Dana Building in Spring

New School

School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)
There's a sea-change underway to strengthen U-M’s position as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education.

Following an external assessment of academic programs in the environment and sustainability areas, the Provost charged a committee to gather feedback from faculty, staff, students and alumni about how best to implement the restructuring.  The formation of a new school was approved by the Regents in December 2016, and the search for a new Dean is well underway.

The inaugural class will start in Fall 2017. SEAS will build on strengths of the current SNRE faculty and staff, have a broader mission, and be structured to engage faculty from across the university.  Read more.

Space Renovation

To gain open space and enhance collaboration in our research suite, we thinned our paper-based library, and donated extra furniture that we had accumulated over 25 years.  We retained our 1995 Steelcase desks, and bought new chairs. We installed Interface 100% recycled carpet tiles made from reclaimed carpet and fishing nets; LED overhead lighting donated by GE following an LCA we did on the product; and wood entry from an oak tree salvaged from the UMMA expansion.  Stop by to see the CSS research suite next time you are in the Dana Building!


Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) is an industry-led, government funded consortium. By re-imagining processes and procedures, our highly linked and leveraged network is facilitating technology transfer into supply chain companies and empowering the lightweight metals workforce. Read more.

White Paper: Josh Newell hosted an FEW Urban Agriculture Workshop

“Scaling Up Agriculture in City-Regions to Mitigate FEW System Impacts” produced from the October 2015 NSF-Funded Workshop “FEW Workshop: ‘Scaling Up’ Urban Agriculture to Mitigate Food-Energy-Water Impacts” held at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor assesses urban agriculture and its relationships with energy, water, food access, and other issues. This white paper summarizes current knowledge with respect to urban agriculture, evaluates integrative frameworks and modeling approaches to assess urban FEW system interactions, and identifies crucial research needs to transition urban FEW systems towards integration, sustainability, resiliency, and equity. Read the white paper here.


Distinguished Faculty and Graduate Student Seminar Program
"Emerging Topics in Sustainable Electric Power Systems"

In fall 2016, Jeremiah Johnson, along with an interdisciplinary team -- including Johanna Mathieu (EECS), Ian Hiskens (EECS), Ruiwei Jiang (IOE), and Pascal Van Hentenryck (IOE) -- launched this series as a collaboration between SNRE, Electrical Engineering, and Industrial & Operations Engineering along with additional support from UM's Energy Institute and UM's Office of Research.  This seminar hosted eight academic speakers in Fall 2016 with another eight for winter 2017.  Each talk touches on issues related to power systems and the environment.

New Publications (peer-reviewed journal articles)

  • Arbabzadeh, Maryam, Jeremiah X. Johnson, Gregory A. Keoleian, Levi T. Thompson, and Paul G Rasmussen. (2016) “Twelve Principles for Green Energy Storage in Grid Applications.” Environ. Sci. Technol. 50(2): 1046-1055.    CSS16-07
  • Bi, Zicheng, Tianze Kan, Chunting Chris Mi, Yiming Zhang, Zhengming Zhao, and Gregory A. Keoleian. (2016) “A Review of Wireless Power Transfer for Electric Vehicles: Prospects to Enhance Sustainable Mobility.” Applied Energy. 179: 413–425.    CSS16-17
  • Bi, Zicheng, Robert De Kleine, Gregory Keoleian. (2016) “Integrated Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost Model for Comparing Plug-in Versus Wireless Charging for an Electric Bus System.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 0(0): 1-12.   CSS16-46
  • Boland, Claire, Robb De Kleine, Gregory Keoleian, Ellen C. Lee, Hyung Chul Kim, and Timothy J. Wallington. (2016) “Life Cycle Impacts of Natural Fiber Composites for Automotive Applications: Effects of Renewable Energy Content and Lightweighting.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 20(1): 179-189.    CSS16-20  
  •  Cai, Hua, Xiaowei Zhan, Ji Zhu, Xiaoping Jia, Anthony S.F. Chiu, Ming Xu. (2016) “Understanding taxi travel patterns”. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications. 457: 590-597. CSS16-33
  •  Chiang, Amy C., Gregory Keoliean, Michael Moore, Jeremiah Johnson. (2016) “Emission Abatement Costs and Benefits of Siting an Offshore Wind Farm: A Spatial Analysis of Lake Michigan.” Ecological Economics. 130: 263-276.    CSS16-38
  •  Chiang, Amy C., Gregory A. Keoleian, Michael R. Moore and Jarod C. Kelly. (2016) “Investment cost and view damage cost of siting an offshore wind farm: A spatial analysis of Lake Michigan.” Renewable Energy. 96 (Part A): 966–976.    CSS16-12
  • Colett, J.S., J.C. Kelly, and G.A. Keoleian. (2016) “Using Nested Average Electricity Allocation Protocols to Characterize Electrical Grids in Life Cycle Assessment: A Case Study of U.S. Primary Aluminum Production.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 20(1): 29-41.    CSS16-19
  • Good, Jeremy and Jeremiah Johnson. (2016) “Impact of inverter loading ratio on solar photovoltaic system performance.” Applied Energy. 177: 475–486.    CSS16-13
  • Gu, Yifan, Yufeng Wu, Ming Xu, Xianzhong Mu, Tieyong Zuo. (2016) “Waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling for a sustainable resource supply in the electronics industry in China.” Journal of Cleaner Production. 127: 331-338.  CSS16-32
  • Gu, Yifan, Yufeng Wu, Ming Xu, Huaidong Wang and Tieyong Zuo. (2016) “The stability and profitability of the informal WEEE collector in development countries: a case study of China.” Resources, Conservation & Recycling. 107: 18-26.   CSS16-06
  • Heard, Brent and Shelie A. Miller. (2016) “Critical research needed to examine the environmental impacts of expanded refrigeration on the food system.” Environmental Science & Technology. 50(22): 12060-12071.    CSS16-40
  • Ji, Ling, Xiaoping Jia, Anthony S.F. Chiu, Ming Xu. (2016) “Global Electricity Trade Network: Structures and Implications”. PLOS One.    CSS16-29
  • Ji, Ling, Sai Liang, Shen Qu, Yanxia Zhang, Ming Xu, Xiaoping Jia, Yingtao Jia, Dongxiao Niu, Jiahai Yuan, Yong Hou, Haikun Wang, Anthony S.F. Chiu and Xiaojun Hu. (2016) “Greenhouse gas emission factors of purchased electricity from interconnected grids.” Applied Energy. 184: 751-758.    CSS16-26
  • Kemausuor, F., Bollweg, S., Miller S. (2016) “Modelling the socio-economic impacts of modern bioenergy in rural communities in Ghana.” Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments. 14: 9-20.    CSS16-39
  • Liang, Sai, Tiantian Feng, Shen Qu, Anthony S.F. Chiu, Xiaoping Jia, Ming Xu. (Early View 2016) “Developing the Chinese Environmentally Extended Input-Output (CEEIO) Database”. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 0(0): 1-13.    CSS16-37
  • Liang, Sai, Sen Guo, Joshua P. Newell, Shen Qu, Yu Feng, Anthony S.F. Chiu, Ming Xu. (2016) “Global drivers of Russian timber harvest”. Journal of Industrial Ecology. 20 (3): 515-525.  CSS16-36
  • Liang, Sai, Zhengling Qi, Shen Qu, Ji Zhu, Anthony S.F Chiu, Xiaoping Jia, Ming Xu. (2016) “Scaling of global input-output networks”. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications. 452: 311-319. CSS16-34
  • Liang, Sai, Shen Qu and Ming Xu. (2016) “Betweenness-based method to identify critical transmission sectors for supply chain environmental pressure mitigation.” Environmental Science & Technology. 50 (3): 1330-1337.   CSS16-05
  • Liang, Sai, Hongxia Wang, Shen Qu, Tiantian Feng, Dabo Guan, Hong Fang, Ming Xu. (2016) “Socioeconomic Drivers of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States”. Environmental Science and Technology. 50: 7535-7545   CSS16-30
  • Lim, Tae Hwan, Robert D. De Kleine and Gregory A. Keoleian. (2016) “Energy Use and Carbon Reduction Potentials from Residential Ground Source Heat Pumps Considering Spatial and Economic Barriers.” Energy and Buildings. 128: 287-304    CSS16-16
  • Lin, Yashen, Jeremiah X. Johnson, Johanna Mathieu. (2016) “Emissions Impacts of Using Distributed Energy Storage for Power System Reserves.” Applied Energy. 168: 444-456.    CSS16-41
  • Ling, Ji, Sai Liang, Shen Qu, Yanxia Zhang, Ming Xu, Xiaoping Jia, Yingtao Jia, Dongxiao Niu, Jiahai Yuan, Yong Hou, Haikun Wang, Anthony S.F. Chiu and Xiaojun Hu. (2016) “Greenhouse gas emission factors of purchased electricity from interconnected grids.” Applied Energy. 184: 751-758.  CSS16-26
  • Liu, Da, Ming Xu, Dongxiao Niu, Wang, S.-K.; Liang, S. (2016) Forecast Modelling via Variations in Binary Image-Encoded Information Exploited by Deep Learning Neural Networks”. PLOS ONE: 11(6): e0157028.  CSS16-31
  • Marshall, Brandon M., Kevin M. Bolon, Jarod C. Kelly and Gregory A. Keoleian. (2016)  "Physical and behavioural determinants of resilience in the transportation system: A case study of vehicle electrification and trip prioritization." International Journal of Critical Infrastructures. 12(1-2): 104-119.    CSS16-08
  • Meerow, Sara, Joshua P. Newell, and Melissa Stultz. (2016) “Defining urban resilience: A review.” Landscape and Urban Planning. 147: 38–49.    CSS16-04
  • Meerow, Sara, Joshua P. Newell. (2016) "Urban Resilience for Whom, What, When, Where, and Why?" Urban Geography. 1-21.    CSS16-42
  • Miller, Shelie and Brent Heard. (2016) “The Environmental Impact of Autonomous Vehicles Depends on Adoption Patterns.”  Environmental Science & Technology. 50(12): 6119-6121.    CSS16-43
  • Reames, Tony. (2016) “A community-based approach to low-income residential energy efficiency participation barriers.” Local Environment. 21(12): 1-18.    CSS16-25
  • Reames, Tony. (2016) “Targeting Energy Justice: Exploring spatial, racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in urban residential heating energy efficiency.” Energy Policy. 97: 549-558.    CSS16-24
  • Ryan, N.A., Johnson, J.X, Keoleian, G.A. (2016) “Comparative Assessment of Models and Methods to Calculate Grid Electricity Emissions.” Environmental Science & Technology. 50 (17): 8937-8953.   CSS16-23
  • Sharp, Ben E. and Shelie A. Miller. (2016) “Potential for integrating diffusion of innovation principles into life cycle assessment of emerging technologies.” Environmental Science & Technology. 2016, 50(6): 2271-2781.    CSS16-44
  • Stylianou, Katerina S., Martin C. Heller, Victor L. Fulgoni III, Alexi S. Ernstoff, Gregory A. Keoleian and Olivier Jolliet. (2016) “A life cycle assessment framework combining nutritional and environmental health impacts of diet: a case study on milk.” International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. 21(5): 734–746.    CSS16-14
  • Tian, Xi, Yufeng Wu, Shen Qu, Sai Liang, Ming Xu, Tieyong Zuo. (2016) “The disposal and willingness to pay for residents’ scrap fluorescent lamps in China: A case study of Beijing.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling. 114: 103-111.    CSS16-28
  • Tsai, Liang, Jarod C. Kelly, Brett S. Simon, Rachel Chalat and Gregory A. Keoleian. (2016) “Life Cycle Assessment of Offshore Wind Farm Siting: Effects of Locational Factors, Lake Depth and Distance from Shore.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 20(6): 1370-1383.    CSS16-27
  • Wallington, T.J., J.E. Anderson, R.D. De Kleine, H.C. Kim, H. Maas, A. R. Brandt and G.A. Keoleian. (Early View 2016) “When Comparing Alternative Fuel-Vehicle Systems, Life Cycle Assessment Studies Should Consider Trends in Oil Production.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 0(0):1-5.    CSS16-45


Honors & Awards

  • Maryam Arbabzadeh – Dow Sustainability Doctoral Fellowship
  • Maryam Arbabzadeh – Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, 2015-16 Funding
  • Maryam Arbabzadeh – The 3M Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Industrial Ecology
  • Stefania Tiziana Almazan Casali – The Stanley A. Cain Award
  • Dominic Bednar – Ford Foundation Fellowship administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Zicheng (Kevin) Bi – Link Foundation Energy Fellowship Program - honorable mention
  • Joshua Cousins – The Environmental Justice Award for Outstanding Scholarship
  • John Dooley, Whitney Johnson, Divyesh Kumar, Benjamin Kunstman, Kristin Steiner, Brittany Szczepanik – Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Awards program, “Doubling Energy Efficiency at the University of Michigan by 2030
  • Marty Heller – Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE) Senior Author Best Paper Prize, “Greenhouse gas emission estimates of U.S. dietary choices and food loss”
  • Shamitha Keerthi – Rackham One-Term Dissertation Fellowship, 2015-16 Funding
  • Rashmi Krishnan – Jonathan Bulkley Water Prize
  • Lixi Liu – NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Sarah Meerow – Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, 2015-16 Funding
  • Robert Meyer – Dow Sustainability Master’s Fellowship
  • Shelie Miller – appointment to the Jonathan W. Bulkley Collegiate Professor of Sustainable Systems
  • Bhuvan Neema – Peter M. Wege and Jonathan W. Bulkley Fellowship in Sustainable Systems
  • Grace Rodriguez – Peter M. Wege and Jonathan W. Bulkley Fellowship in Sustainable Systems
  • Ming Xu – associate professor of natural resources and environment, with tenure
  • Cody Yarbrough – Presidential Management Fellowship Semi-Finalist

Recent Graduates

  • Stefania Tiziana Almazan Casali, M.S. Environmental Policy and Planning, Behavior, Education, and Communication
  • Dominic Bednar, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • David Neil Carruthers, Dual M.S. Sustainable Systems with Engineering
  • Jiarui Cai, Dual M.S. / M.S.E Sustainable Systems with Engineering
  • Joshua James Cousins, PhD Natural Resources and Environment
  • Lu Chen, Dual M.S. Sustainable Systems with Engineering
  • Adithya Dahagama, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • John Dooley, M.S. Sustainable Systems with MBA
  • Whitney Johnson, M.S. Environmental Informatics
  • Rashmi Krishnan, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • Montana Krukowski, M.S. Natural Resources Management and Policy
  • Divyesh Kumar, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • Benjamin Emil Kunstman, Dual M.S. with Engineering
  • Ryan David Leclerc, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • Brandon Thomas List, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • Wenjuan Liu, M.S. Sustainable Systems, Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Kari Kathryn Paine, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • Puneeth Mestrappa Venktarama Reddy, Dual M.S. with Engineering
  • Nicole Ryan, Dual M.S. Sustainable Systems with Engineering
  • Jefferson Gustavo Sanchez, Dual M.S. Sustainable Systems with Engineering
  • Joshua Silverblatt, M.S. Sustainable Systems
  • Rebecca Spellissy, Dual M.S. / M.S.E Sustainable Systems with Engineering
  • Shreyas Vangala, M.S Sustainable Systems
  • Dana Kimberly Wall, Dual M.S. / M.U.P Environmental Policy and Planning with Urban Planning
  • Cory Wydish, Dual M.S. / M.Eng Sustainable Systems with Engineering Energy Systems
  • Cody R. Yarbrough, Dual M.S. with Engineering
  • Xiajun Zhang, M.S. Environmental Policy & Planning, Environmental Informatics
  • Qiaoting Zhao, M.S. / M.A. Sustainable Systems and Applied Economics
  • Zeqi Zhu, Dual M.S. Sustainable Systems with Economics
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