Open to the Public, Talks & Lectures, University-wide
6 Oct 2020
Zoom Webcast

Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series: "The Case for a Rapid Carbon Transition by Massification of One Small Perspective Shift"

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

Susan Krumdieck, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Scotland

The Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series is a weekly lecture hosting 12 speakers and 6 panelists in the Fall 2020 semester.

by Susan Krumdieck, Professor, Heriot Watt University, Scotland


Think about one essential thing all people need, and how meeting that need has changed over the past century. All of the developments that have caused greenhouse gas build-up, loss of habitats have been the unintended, but not unknown, consequences of successful engineering. Global warming is not the first deadly unintended consequence of profitable engineering. The good news is that when the problems are understood, the engineering professions have changed their perspective, and have corrected the course of history. This lecture makes the case that Transition Engineering is an emerging correction to the business-as-usual that will rapidly achieve the COP21 target of down-shift of greenhouse gas emissions. First, I will lay out the facts: the “solutions” that dominate the media coverage of climate action are insufficient to requirements. Then I will describe Transition Engineering and the trajectory for rapid training and deployment. Finally, I will close the case using proof of the argument by example: we are in a totally different future today than if a massive, but small perspective shift had not occurred in engineering a century ago.


Professor Krumdieck studied Mechanical Engineering University of Colorado at Boulder. Her Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University focused on Energy Systems Engineering. Industry experience in building energy management was valuable for understanding the demand side of the energy system. She undertook her first PhD in combustion characterization of biofuels. Her PhD was earned at University of Colorado at Boulder in advanced materials for energy applications. Dr. Krumdieck took the position at Canterbury University in 2000 and has taught energy systems engineering and more recently energy transition engineering. Her research career has covered a wide range of topics, with 160 peer reviewed works, 25 PhD students and more than $7 million in research funding. Her most notable contribution is the culmination of using a counterview on energy system sustainability to develop the approach methodology and analysis tools for Energy Transition Engineering. Professor Krumdieck’s book on Transition Engineering has received very positive reviews and is gaining uptake world-wide. In 2020 Professor Krumdieck takes up the Chair in Energy Transition Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. She will be leading the Carbon and Energy Transition Engineering Centre which has the mission to work with the people of the Scottish Isles to achieve rapid zero carbon transition as a pilot for the British Isles and Europe.


Visit the Sustainability Seminar Series website or visit

Back to Events