President’s corner

Dear ISIE Community,

The ISIE held a very successful conference in Chicago at the University of Illinois, Chicago conference center, together with the International Symposium on Sustainable Systems and Technology (ISSST). The conference program was packed with six parallels. The layout of the posters was excellent and allowed for a good interaction with the audience. With about 600 participants, the meeting matched the record of the conference at the University of Surrey in 2015.  I would like to thank the conference organizers, Tom Theis, Tasneem Chowdhury, and Weslynne Ashton, for their excellent work making the conference such a success.

Prizes: At the conference, we were proud to announce and hand out a number of awards: The Society Award to Marina Fischer-Kowalski from Vienna for her broader conceptual work and the integration of human, social and industrial ecology. The Laudise medal to Gang Liu of the Southern Denmark University for his work on metal cycles and the strong interaction with industry partners and think-tanks such as the International Energy Agency. JIE handed out two sets of Graedel Prizes  and the student section presented its poster awards.

I would like to thank Chris Kennedy and the award committee for their good work and members for their nominations. I am myself an early recipient of the Laudise medal, and I am proud to list this medal on my CV and think it has helped me get recognition. I consider the prizes one of the mechanisms by which the society can further the establishment of Industrial Ecologists at universities and research institutions.

IE success. It was notable at Chicago that industrial ecology is maturing. More of society members are now faculty in positions where Industrial Ecology is at the core of their activity. A search in scopus shows that the number of papers published in a year has grown from 500 in 1997 to over 5000 in 2016, but seems to be leveling off. The JIE managed to increase its impact factor from 3.27 in 2015 to 4.12 in 2016, quite a jump! What is maybe most remarkable is the breakthrough of IE-related research in high-impact journals such as Nature, Science, PNAS, and Nature Climate Change. Overall, the project of establishing IE in academia has gone well. Surprisingly, however, it has weakened our industrial links. While many of us have some projects or teaching in interaction with businesses, the role of business in our society is small. At Chicago, we tried to strengthen the participation of practitioners with an “industry day” on Tuesday, where invited speakers from companies participated in parallel sessions. We hope to build on this experience as subsequent conferences explore how to foster this relationship.

I hope you will enjoy our new format of the newsleter.