Courses » Life Cycle Assessment

Life Cycle Assessment

About the course

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts related to interaction of industrial and environmental/ecological systems, sustainability challenges facing the current generation, and systems-based approaches required to create sustainable solutions for society. Students will understand the concepts and the scientific method as it applies to a systems-based, trans-disciplinary  approach to sustainability, and will be prepared to identify problems in sustainability and formulate appropriate solutions based on scientific research, applied science, social and economic issues. The basic concepts of life cycle assessment (LCA) will be discussed, along with life cycle inventory (LCI) and life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) including the social and economic dimensions. The application of life cycle assessment methodology using appropriate case studies will be presented.

Environmental Sciences

Introduction to Environmental Engineering

Industry support – list of companies/industry that will recognize/value this online course

Larsen and Toubro

Tata Group of Industries
Ramky Group of Industries

IF&LS Environment

Course instructor

Brajesh Kr. Dubey is Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Engineering and Management at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, India. Dr. Dubey has more than a decade of research, teaching, training and industrial outreach experience in the areas of Integrated Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Sustainable Engineering. He has collaborated with UN agencies, World Bank, National Science foundation, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Auckland Regional Council on various projects including that in the area of LCA. He has been resource person for LCA and delivered lectures at several universities in USA, Canada, New Zealand, China and India. He has also conducted training programs in the Integrated Waste Management areas including that for  Electronics Waste. Dr. Dubey has authored/co-authored more than 160 publications in his area of expertise and have presented at several national and international conferences.


Course layout

Week 1: An Introduction to Sustainability Concepts and Life Cycle Analysis (Introduction, Material flow and waste management, What it all means for an engineer? Water energy and food nexus)

Week 2: Risk and Life Cycle Framework for Sustainability (Introduction, Risk, Environmental Risk Assessment, Example Chemicals and Health Effects, Character of Environmental Problems)

Week 3: Environmental Data Collection and LCA Methodology (Environmental Data Collection Issues, Statistical Analysis of Environmental Data, Common Analytical Instruments, Overview of LCA Methodology - Goal Definition, Life Cycle Inventory, Life Cycle Impact Assessment, Life Cycle Interpretation, LCA Software tools)

Week 4: Life Cycle Assessment – Detailed Methodology and ISO Framework (Detailed Example on LCA Comparisons, LCA Benefits and Drawbacks, Historical Development and LCA Steps from ISO Framework)

Week 5: Life Cycle Inventory and Impact Assessments (Unit Processes and System Boundary, Data Quality, Procedure for Life Cycle Impact Assessment, LCIA in Practice with Examples, Interpretation of LCIA Results)

Week 6: Factors for Good LCA Study (ISO Terminologies, LCA Steps Recap, Chemical Release and Fate and Transport, and Green Sustainable Materials)

Week 7: Design for Sustainability (Environmental Design for Sustainability: Economic, Environmental Indicators, Social Performance Indicators, Sustainable Engineering Design Principles and Environmental Cost Analysis)

Week 8: Case Studies (e.g., Odour Removal for Organics Treatment Plant, Comparison of Hand Drying Methods, Biofuels for Transportation, Kerosene Lamp vs. Solar Lamp, Bioplastics etc.).

Certification exam:

• The exam is optional for a fee. Exams will be on 26 March, 2017

• Time: Shift 1: 9am-12 noon; Shift 2: 2pm-5pm

• Any one shift can be chosen to write the exam for a course.

• Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.

• The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published.


• Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score.

• 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 8 weeks course: Best 6 out of 8 assignments.

• E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT KHARAGPUR. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.