Dr Stewart Ledgard. http://www.lcm.org.nz/

Life cycle management roles for leading researchers


Dr Brent Clothier

Two adjunct professors – Plant and Food Research’s Dr Brent Clothier and AgResearch’s Dr Stewart Ledgard – have been appointed to the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre based at the University’s Manawatu campus.

Dr Clothier is science group leader for systems modelling whose research interests include soil physics, plant water use, footprints of carbon, water, nutrients and pesticides, plus environmental policy. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Dr Ledgard is science team leader in nitrogen and life cycle management whose current research focuses on resource use efficiency and carbon footprinting of dairy, lamb, beef, venison and wool products and on managing agricultural systems to reduce environmental emissions.

Life cycle management is the approach used by businesses to deliver more sustainable products and services across their life cycles from extraction of raw materials, through processing, manufacture, distribution, use and on to final waste management.

The centre provides coordination and focus for the activities of life cycle management practitioners across organisations and industry, particularly through capability development.

Adjunct professors are considered experts in their fields, who teach, conduct research, supervise students or perform other duties, usually on a part-time or fixed-term basis.

Centre director Dr Sarah McLaren says she is delighted to be able to draw on the expertise and experience of two leaders in the field to develop postgraduate courses and research opportunities. They will join the centre this year.

“There is a very active community of life cycle management researchers and practitioners in New Zealand,” Dr McLaren says. “Together we are seeking to embed life cycle thinking into corporate management and government policy-making to realise a more sustainable future for New Zealand.

“Our focus is on enabling New Zealand organisations to work towards minimising their impacts on the natural environment, and on supporting the economy by providing the tools for producers to demonstrate their environmental credentials and address the needs of the green consumer, a market growing rapidly worldwide.”

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry provides the funds for the centre, which is managed jointly by the University, AgResearch, Landcare Research, Plant and Food Research, and Scion Research.

As well as running postgraduate training courses, it organises events on topics such as water and carbon footprinting. Last year it was co-organiser of the first New Zealand Life Cycle Assessment Conference.

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