PhD Defense by Zachary Morris

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Friday June 5, 2020
      8:30 am - 10:30 am
  • Location: REMOTE: BLUE JEANS
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  • URL: Blue Jeans
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Summary Sentence: Improving Industrial Networks through Biologically-Inspired Urban-Industrial Ecosystems

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Student Name: Zackery B. Morris

Title: Improving Industrial Networks through Biologically-Inspired Urban-Industrial Ecosystems

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Urban and industrial systems are some of the most important human-designed systems that have an incredible impact on critical resources such as water, energy, and food. These systems must be continually improved and made more sustainable in order to survive. Natural ecosystems are some of the most sustainable systems that exist and therefore can serve as a biological inspiration for the urban and industrial systems. This dissertation examines Urban-Industrial Ecosystems through the lens of ecology by creating an analogy between natural and human-designed systems. Using Ecological Network Analysis, it is shown how human systems have considerably worse ecological performance when compared to their natural counterpart. In addition, through the analysis of these Urban-Industrial Ecosystems, key actors are identified and the networks are compared one to another to understand the core characteristics of these systems. Design principles are created to help lessen the gap in performance as well as create systems that are more resilient and generate less waste and emissions.  This is done by introducing new roles into these systems that include processing waste, providing additional sources of resources, and utilizing resources that would otherwise be exported for the system. Through modification, these systems are able to capture some of the potential of nature, showing increased ecological performance and sustainability.



Dr. Bert Bras, Advisor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Marc Weissburg, Biology

Dr. John Crittenden, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Julie Linsey, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kate Fu, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Astrid Layton, Mechanical Engineering (Texas A&M)

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

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Faculty/Staff, Public, Graduate students, Undergraduate students
Phd Defense
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 20, 2020 - 2:19pm
  • Last Updated: May 20, 2020 - 2:19pm