Dr Jacquetta Lee

Research Interests

Current research topics include:

  • the development of a risk analysis system to allow the incorporation of environmental issues into the design of highly technically specified products
  • managing carbon in fast moving consumer goods supply chains.
  • the application of design approaches, principles and tools to the sustainable use of high performance materials
  • a technical, economic and social study into renewable microgeneration and code 6 housing design
  • the design and development of 'green' outside broadcast vehicles
  • investigation the potential for resilient sustainable automotive strategy
  • analysis of the opportunities for waste to energy conversion in Thailand using LCA

Other, more general interests include the application of DfE and life cycle thinking to the aerospace industry and value analysis in scrap aerospace market.


Life cycle thinking and approaches

Design for Environment/Sustainability

Departmental Duties

Director of the Practitioner Doctorate Programme in Sustainability (PDS)

Supervision of EngD, PDS and PhD research projects

Contribution to MSc teaching modules. 

Supervision of MSc dissertation projects

Member of the SEES EngD Management Operating Board and Advisory Board.

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 9478

Find me on campus
Room: 15 AB 02

My office hours

Monday to Friday 9.00 to 17.00


Journal articles

  • Arena N, Lee J, Clift R. (2016) 'Life Cycle Assessment of activated carbon production from coconut shells'. Elsevier Journal of Cleaner Production, 125, pp. 68-77.


    Activated carbons have excellent performance in a number of process applications. In particular, they appear to have the most favourable characteristics for adsorption processes, thanks to their high porosity and large surface area. However, a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impacts of their manufacturing chain is still lacking. This study evaluates these impacts taking the specific case of activated carbon produced from coconut shells in Indonesia, which is the major coconut producer county. Coconut shells as raw materials are utilized for activated carbon production due to their abundant supply, high density and purity, and because they seem to have a clear environmental advantage over coal-based carbons, particularly in terms of acidification potential, non-renewable energy demand and carbon footprint. Life Cycle Assessment and process analysis are used to quantify all the environmental interactions over the stages of the life cycle of an activated carbon manufacturing chain, in terms of inputs of energy and natural resources and of outputs of emissions to the different environmental compartments. Estimates for the environmental burdens over the life cycle have been obtained by developing mass and energy balances for each of the process units in the production chain. The results indicate the operations with the greatest effects on the environmental performance of activated carbon production and hence where improvements are necessary. In particular, using electrical energy produced from renewable sources, such as biomass, would reduce the contributions to human toxicity (by up to 60%) and global warming (by up to 80%). Moreover, when the material is transported for processing in a country with a low-carbon electricity system, the potential human toxicity and global warming impacts can be reduced by as much as 90% and 60% respectively.

  • Suckling JR, Lee J. (2015) 'Redefining Scope: The True Environmental Impact of Smartphones?'. Springer International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, United States:


    Purpose: To explore the literature surrounding the environmental impact of mobile phones and the implications of moving from the current business model of selling, using and discarding phones to a product service system based upon a cloud service. The exploration of the impacts relating to this shift and subsequent change in scope is explored in relation to the life cycle profile of a typical smartphone. Methods: A literature study is conducted into the existing literature in order to define the characteristics of a “typical” smartphone. Focus is given to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in different life cycle phases in line with that reported in the majority of literature. Usage patterns from literature are presented in order to show how a smartphone is increasingly responsible for not only data consumption, but also data generation. The subsequent consequences of this for the balance of the life cycle phases are explored with the inclusion of wider elements in the potential expanded mobile infrastructure, such as servers and the network. Result & Discussions: From the available literature the manufacturing phase is shown to dominate the life cycle of a “typical” smartphone for GHG emissions. Smartphone users are shown to be increasingly reliant upon the internet for provision of their communications. Adding a server into the scope of a smartphone is shown to increase the use phase impact from 8.5 kgCO2-eq to 18.0 kgCO2-eq, other phases are less affected. Addition of the network increases the use phase by another 24.7 kgCO2-eq. In addition, it is shown that take-back of mobile phones is not effective at present and that prompt return of the phones could result in reduction in impact by best reuse potential and further reduction in toxic emissions through inappropriate disposal. Conclusions: The way in which consumers interact with their phones is changing, leading to a system which is far more integrated with the internet. A product service system based upon a cloud service highlights the need for improved energy efficiency to make greatest reduction in GHG emissions in the use phase, and gives a mechanism to exploit residual value of the handsets by timely return of the phones, their components and recovery of materials.

  • Suckling J, Lee J. (2015) 'Redefining scope: the true environmental impact of smartphones?'. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 20 (8), pp. 1181-1196.
  • Parsons S, Murphy RJ, Lee J, Sims G. (2015) 'Uncertainty communication in the environmental life cycle assessment of carbon nanotubes'. International Journal of Nanotechnology, 12 (8-9), pp. 620-630.
  • Lee J, Keller E, Clift R, Mila a Canals L, King H. (2014) 'Footprinting Farms, a comparison of three GHG calculators'. Greenhouse Gas Measurement and Management,
  • Lee J, Winnard J, Adcroft A, Skipp D. (2014) 'Surviving or Flourishing? Integrating business resilience and sustainability'. Journal of Strategy and Management, 7 (3)


    Purpose – Businesses are always seeking resilient strategies so they can weather unpredictable competitive environments. One source of unpredictability is the unsustainability of commerce's environmental, economic or social impacts and the limitations this places on businesses. Another is poor resilience causing erroneous and unexpected outputs. Companies prospering long-term must have both resilience and sustainability, existing in a symbiotic state. The purpose of this paper is to explore the two concepts and their relationship, their combined benefits and propose an approach for supporting decision makers to proactively build both characteristics. Design/methodology/approach – The paper looks at businesses as complex adaptive systems, how their resilience and sustainability can be defined and how these might be exhibited. It then explores how they can be combined in practice. Findings – The two qualities are related but have different purposes, moreover resilience has two major forms related to timescales. Both kinds of resilience are identified as key for delivering sustainability, yet the reverse is also found to be true. Both are needed to deliver either and to let businesses flourish. Practical implications – Although the ideal state of resilient sustainability is difficult to define or achieve, pragmatic ways exist to deliver the right direction of change in organisational decisions. A novel approach to this is explored based on transition engineering and robustness engineering. Originality/value – This paper links resilience and sustainability explicitly and develops a holistic pragmatic approach for working through their implications in strategic decision making.

  • Lee J, Keller E, Mila a Canals L, King H, Clift R. (2013) 'Agri-food certification schemes: how do they address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions'. Taylor and Francis Greenhouse Gas Measurement and Management,
  • Lloyd S, Lee J, Elghali L, France C, Clifton A. (2012) 'Recommendations for assessing materials criticality'. Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Waste and Resource Management, 165 (4), pp. 191-200.
  • Lloyd S, Clifton A, Lee J, Elghali L, France C. (2012) 'A framework for environmental risk management'. ROYAL AERONAUTICAL SOC AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, 116 (1183), pp. 941-961.
  • Lee JJ. (2006) 'Greener manufacturing, maintenance and disposal - Towards the ACARE targets'. Aeronautical Journal, 110 (1110), pp. 567-571.


    This paper looks at how the aerospace industry can achieve the ACARE goal of greener manufacturing, maintenance and disposal. It looks further than merely reducing waste and eliminating hazardous materials and processes and suggests that the organisational structure of the industry will play an important role in facilitating a move towards such a goal. Greater co-operation or integration within the industry at all stages of the product life cycle chain is a fundamental requirement as individual companies run a risk of increasing the total environmental burdens if they concentrate solely on reducing their own impacts without considering the effect a change they make may have on other companies. The use of comprehensive environmental supply chain management systems and end of life plans can smooth the implementation of extended product responsibility and accelerate the benefits of greener manufacturing, maintenance and disposal.

  • Lee J, O'Callaghan P. (1995) 'Critical Review of Life Cycle Analysis and Assessment Techniques and their Application to Commercial Activities'. Resources Recycling and Conservation, 13, pp. 37-56.

Conference papers

  • Lee J, Suckling JR, Lilley D, Wilson GT. (2015) 'What is ‘value’ and how can we capture it from the product value chain?'. Tokyo: Eco-Design
    [ Status: Unpublished ]
  • Wilson GT, Bridgens B, Hobson K, Lee J, Lilley D, Scott JL, Suckling JR. (2015) 'Single product, multi-lifetime components: challenges for product- service system development'. http://www.ntu.ac.uk/plate_conference/proceedings/index.html : Nottingham, UK: Product Lifetimes and the Environment, pp. 394-400.


    The rapid turnover in consumer electronics, fuelled by increased global consumption, has resulted in negative environmental and social consequences. Consumer electronics are typically disposed of into UK landfills; exported to developing countries; incinerated; retained in households in a redundant state; or otherwise 'lost' with very few being recycled. As a result, the high value metals they contain are not effectively recovered and new raw materials must be extracted to produce more goods. To assist in a transition from the current throw-away society towards a circular economy, the Closed Loop Emotionally Valuable E-waste Recovery (CLEVER) project is developing a novel Product-Service System (PSS). In the proposed PSS, component parts with 'low-emotional value', but requiring regular technical upgrade (such as circuit boards, chips and other electronic components) will be owned by manufacturers and leased to customers, and potentially ‘high-emotional value’ components (such as the outer casing) will be owned and valued by the customer so that they become products that are kept for longer periods of time. This research conceptualizes a consumer electronic device as comprising a 'skin' - the outer casing, or the part that the user interacts with directly; a 'skeleton' - the critical support components inside the device; and 'organs' - the high-tech electronics that deliver the product’s core functionality. Each of these has different longevity requirements and value-chain lifetimes, engendering different levels of stakeholder interaction. This paper contributes to academic debate by exploring the feasibility of creating a PSS which addresses conflicting issues for different components within the same device with different optimal lifetimes and end-of-life fates.

  • Lee J, Khodabuccus R, Dunster B. (2012) 'Developing an economic led approach to zero carbon housing through integration and substitution of traditional building materials.'. Kandy: International Conference on Sustainable built environment
  • Lee J, LLoyd S, Elghali L, Clifton A, France C. (2011) 'Ecodesign through environmental risk management: A focus on critical materials'. Proceedings of Ecodesign 2011: 7th International Symposium on environmentally conscious design and inverse manufacturing, Kyoto, Japan: Ecodesign 2011: 7th International symposium on environmentally conscious design and inverse manufacturing, pp. 374-379.
  • Lee J. (2002) 'Powertrain developments for passenger cars and light trucks for the next 10-15 years'. Graz, Austria: , Environmental Sustainability Conference and Exposition, Land Sea and Air
  • Lee J. (2002) 'Integrating Design for Environment and Extended Product Responsibility'. Graz, Austria: Environmental Sustainability Conference and Exposition, Land Sea and Air
  • Lee J. (2000) 'Sustainable Aviation - the way ahead'. Harrogate, UK: 22nd ICAS Conference
  • Lee J. (1995) 'Minimum Energy and Materials Consumption within Flow Systems and Life Cycle Analysis'. San Fransisco: ASME 1995 Congress Proceedings

Book chapters

  • Lee J. (2003) 'The potential offered ny aircraft and engine technologies'. in Upham P (ed.) Towards sustainable aviation Earthscan Article number 10

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