Systems Theory for Sustainability

The development of mathematical systems theory started in the early 60’s, basically for linear systems. In the past decades the theory has been more and more applied to complex real-world systems with their inherent non-linear, time-varying and/or hybrid behaviour. Still, very few focus on applications in biobased and environmental sciences.

In a sustainable future closing of cycles, in particular dynamic water, energy and material cycles, while taking into account the associated socio-economic aspects, is essential. Thus, the need for exploring systems theory for sustainability.

In a set of projects, we focus, in particular, on the following real-world systems: (i) Aquaponics, the combined integrated cultivation of hydroponics crops and aquaculture species, with the research aim to support design and operation, (ii) Bio-desulphurisation of (bio)gas streams, a sustainable approach to avoid H2S emissions and maximise the recovery of elemental sulfur, with the research aim to understand the processes in and around sulfur oxidizing bacteria, and (iii) Water, Energy and Material cycles, in the transition towards a biobased, circular economy, with the research aim to manage and control the cycles during the transition.

Used skills

Mathematical modelling, Matlab/Python/Excel programming


Prerequisite knowledge: Modelling Dynamic Systems (BCT-20306)