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Events & Media - AT&T Fellowship

Bren Professor Wins Prestigious Fellowship

Award from AT&T is one of only three in the nation to support industrial ecology

Roland Geyer (center) and Vered Doctori Blass (left) are congratulated by Colin Petheram, AT&T.

Bren School assistant professor of industrial ecology and supply chain management Roland Geyer is one of three recipients to have been awarded a prestigious 2006 AT&T Industrial Ecology Faculty Fellowship. The awards were presented last month.

Geyer won the $25,000 fellowship for the proposal he submitted last November, titled “The Role and Value of Information and ICT [Information and Communications Technology] for Supply Loop Management.”
In the proposal abstract, Geyer wrote: “The objective of information systems for supply-loop management is to collect, exchange, synthesize, and analyze the information necessary to identify and manage those recycling and reuse options that maximize economic returns while minimizing the environmental impacts of the production and consumption systems they are part of. The proposed research has the potential to significantly advance the theory and practice of resource cycling, one of the centerpieces of industrial ecology.”

 “It’s big news for me and for the Bren School,” said Geyer. “It’s the only fellowship of its kind in the U.S., and it provides recognition that industrial ecology is happening at the Bren School and that we have standing in terms of teaching and research.”

As an expert in related field of resource productivity, Bren School Dean Ernst von Weizsäcker could fully appreciate the importance of the AT&T award. “I am delighted that Roland has won this impressive acclaim from around the world in a field, industrial ecology, that I consider one of the most important and fascinating areas of environmental analysis and strategy.”

Geyer says that half of the funding is earmarked for his research partner, Bren PhD student Vered Doctori Blass, who will be working on this research as part of her dissertation in the area of information technology and corporate eco-efficiency.

“This fellowship is a great start for my research,” said Doctori Blass. “The combination of a theoretical framework applied to practical case studies will ensure that both academia and industry benefit from our work. It is a great opportunity to build on Roland’s prior research while applying new concepts in the fields of management science, technology, and industrial ecology”


“The AT&T Industrial Ecology Faculty Fellowship Program is intended to stimulate interdisciplinary research and curriculum development that involve social issues, engineering, the sciences, economics, management, business, law, and public policy issues,” said Colin Petheram, Director of Constituency Relations, AT&T.  “We’re pleased to award our 2006 Industrial Ecology Fellowship to Assistant Professor Geyer to continue his research in "supply-loop" management. We were especially impressed with his concept that information technology design must be proactive, with the end in mind, an approach that could reduce the need for new parts and materials, thereby reducing waste and environmental impact while providing a cost savings.”

Industrial ecology is an emerging multidisciplinary field that studies industrial and economic systems and their linkages with fundamental natural systems. It incorporates, among other things, research involving energy; materials; technology and technological systems; information generation, management, and transmission; and services. It involves such disciplines as law, economics, anthropology, business studies, engineering, and the social and physical sciences.

The central objectives of the AT&T fellowship program are (1) to produce university faculty and students who can contribute to solving global and regional environmental problems and help shape environmentally and economically efficient strategies that have a firm scientific and engineering basis and (2) to advance the theoretical basis for the field of industrial ecology and its application in service sectors, industrial activity, and regulatory arenas.