Ben focuses on energy systems, their resource requirements (particularly for critical minerals) and sustainability evaluation of energy-resource transitions.

Ben`s research covers a wide range of technologies and fields of evaluation. His major focus has been on sustainability assessment of resource-energy systems and the contribution of energy and resources to sustainable development. This typically involves multidisciplinary research across a variety of social and natural science fields. Recently, Ben`s main focus areas have been the evaluation of social equity and environmental implications of energy transitions across the lifecycle of technologies - for example, the environmental and social impacts of changes in mining to produce minerals for clean energy infrastructure. He also focuses on critical minerals and the evaluation of criticality. With regards to specific technologies, he has ongoing interest in deep ocean mining and the hydrogen economy.

Biography

Ben has a BA/BEng (Chemical) and PhD in Chemical Engineering (2007) from UQ, after which he joined the SMI (CSRM) for 3 years as a Post-Doc then Research Fellow. At SMI he worked on a variety of projects, mostly for the Centre for Sustainable Resource Processing. He then moved to Kyoto University`s Graduate School of Energy Science, where he has been since 2010 as Associate Professor. As of January, 2020, he had published over 90 journal papers and over 90 academic conference papers across a variety of research themes. He is a member of the editorial board of a number of societies, journals and conferences, including the Japan Society for Energy and Resources, and as an associate member of the Sustainability Committee of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Collaborations

Being currently based in Japan, Ben has significant collaborations with academics across the country in the fields of energy, sustainable consumption and production, lifecycle assessment (LCA) and materials flow analysis, notably of minerals. He has a keen interest in emerging energy technologies and emerging resources and associated socio-environmental issues, and has ongoing research collaborations in Australia (Critical Minerals; Energy Equity) and the UK (Deep Ocean Mining). He has a long-standing collaboration on various energy systems modelling projects with colleagues from China University of Petroleum, Beijing, and has led or been a co-investigator on projects throughout South-East Asia. 

Projects

"Blue-seas thinking: A comparative approach to understanding deep-sea mining politics in the UK and Japan" https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=ES%2FS012974%2F1      

"Limits to Urbanization: Application of Integrated Assessment for Smart City Development in India" (Toyota Foundation) https://www.toyotafound.or.jp/english/research/2017/products/data/2017-1114-1501.pdf       

"Sustainability and stakeholder engagement for remote deep ocean resources of critical minerals" https://kaken.nii.ac.jp/en/grant/KAKENHI-PROJECT-26701014/