- Associate Professor
- Athena Chair Life Cycle Assess
- Sustainable Development and Design
BSc (Chem Eng), MSc(Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure), Licentiate Degree (Industrial Ecology), PhD (Industrial Ecology)
My doctoral research at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm focusing on Sustainability Assessment of Technical Systems drew on my sustainability philosophy that connects back to what I believe is the historical back yard of the sustainability concept and approach. The origins of the ideas of utilising resources at a sustainable rate can be traced back to different ancient literatures including the Scripture where a two dimensional command says: 'and the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,' Genesis 2:15. For me, the 'dress' dimension represents designing and using technologies for human economic and social development. The 'keep' dimension accounts for the environmental sustainability of the activity of development and utilization of technologies.
By having a holistic approach my research strives to avoid problem shifting and sub-optimization in the design and development of technical systems including buildings, energy systems, etc. Sustainability can't be realized without making the whole world sustainable through environmentally benign, economically viable and socially equitable utilization of resources. During my many travels around the world I have seen the importance of addressing developmental needs on one hand, and environmental sustainability on the other. It is not an either-or, it is both that we, as human beings, need to deal with. I am confident our common will and effort has the power to make a positive difference.
Out of work, I enjoy participating in different activities of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. My other interests include swimming as well as reading and writing on sustainability and a spectrum of other issues.