Marc Weissburg is Professor of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech, a Brook Byers Institute of Sustainable Systems Professor, and Co-Director of the Center for Biologically Inspired-Design. An ecologist by training, Professor Weissburg has taught and practiced biomimicry (aka biologically-inspired design or BID) for 15 years. He has designed and assessed BID teaching methods, and worked with students, scientists, architects, and other professionals wishing to learn this practice. He has worked with major companies to develop novel, innovative and more benign technologies to solve complex human challenges ranging from better fiber products to sustainable industrial systems organization. Most recently, he has been using ecological network analysis (ENA) as a tool to understand and design human infrastructure systems. ENA is a matrix based method to understand ecological foodwebs by tracking material and energy flow. Human infrastructure systems, like foodwebs, are a collection of actors that “consume” and “produce” materials or energy and can be analyzed by the same tools. Professor Weissburg is using ENA to provide a systems level view of energy and material cycling in industrial ecologies and urban infrastructure, and using ENA to increase of these systems by applying foodweb “design principles” to human systems.
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