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Dr. Jennifer Russell

FACULTY AFFILIATE   |   Global Change Center

Sustainable Biomaterials

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Dr. Russell works in the area of circular economy and sustainability, the flows of materials and energy within economic consumption-production systems, and strategies for slowing and closing material loops.  As co-author of the UNEP International Resource Panel study, “Re-defining Value – The Manufacturing Revolution”, her background includes an emphasis on strategy for market transformation. Dr. Russell received her PhD degree from the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the department, she held was a lecturer in Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain, and Circular Value Chain, in the MBA in Sustainability program at Bard College. Prior to pursuing academia, Dr. Russell worked as an industry sustainability consultant for 10 years, for multi-national CPG clients based across North America and Europe.

Dr. Russell’s research program is centered around the integration of industrial ecology, industrial symbiosis, and opportunities for circular systems and practice in materials and energy systems, and she established Virginia Tech’s relationship with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as a Circular Economy Network University. Dr. Russell’s work includes computational modeling to quantify the opportunities and implications of increased adoption of reuse, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing, and recycling within consumption- production systems. It also includes research and analysis of the role that human behavior, perceptions of value, and decision-making, can have upon the achievement of sustainability outcomes, including resource efficiency, material efficiency, and climate change mitigation. Dr. Russell is currently working on circular economy research collaboration with researchers at Arizona State University, Purdue University, and Lund University in Sweden.