The Central department of technology-induced material flows (ZTS) was closed on September 18th, 2012, after Prof. Dr. Liselotte Schebek had disengaged. Its research work has been integrated into the research areas of ITAS (Research areas Sustainability and environment and Energy – resources, technologies, systems).
The Central department of technology-induced material flows (ZTS) that was founded on September 1st, 1999, as part of the Institute for Technical Chemistry (ITC), headed by Prof. Dr. Liselotte Schebek. It was integrated into the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis on February 15th, 2008, as a result of the restructuring of the Institute for Technical Chemistry.
Prof. Dr. Liselotte Schebek who also holds the Chair of Industrial Material Cycles at 'Fachbereich Bauingenieurwesen und Geodäsie der Technischen Universität Darmstadt' (department of civil engineering and of geodesics of Technical University Darmstadt) has disengaged from her position at KIT on September 17th, 2012, in order to establish a new research area at TU Darmstadt. The cooperation between KIT and 'Fachbereich Bauingenieurwesen und Geodäsie der TU Darmstadt' will be continued within the framework of the Helmholtz graduate school Climate and Environment GRACE. The Central department of technology-induced material flows of the Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS-ZTS) focuses its research on human-caused so-called anthropogenic material flows (more). The specific research profile results from the conceptual mission to sustainably support technology design and is characterized by the anthropogenic material flows that are "induced by technology", i.e.:
- Explaining the relation between technical processes and the material flows they cause
- Identifying potentials for efficiency and substitution as a contribution to decision support and to a sustainability strategy
The research work is based on the methods of systems analysis and on the corresponding instruments. These methods and instruments were applied on different levels of analyses and in different fields of technology and were further developed with regard to specific applications. According to the mission of the Helmholtz Association, the Central department of technology-induced material flows did not only conduct own research projects but was also involved in establishing the scientific infrastructure for the research area of anthropogenic material flows and was participating, among others, in the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative which promotes Life Cycle Thinking and the application of Life Cycle Assessment in science and economy on an international level.