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Research Interests

System thinking; System Dynamics Modelling; Food-Energy-Water Nexus; Sustainable Development; Renewable Energy; Ecological Economics



Ali Parsa has been involved in green initiatives since founding Rainbow Social and Cultural Organisation (RSCO) in 2014 in Kabul- Afghanistan. His interest in sustainable development and environmental studies led him to the MSc Environment and Development course at the University of Reading which was sponsored by Chevening Scholarship in 2017-18 academic year. Leading the pioneering and award-winning RSCO, graduation with a first class honours degree from Political Science Faculty of Avicenna University, and his outstanding passion were amongst the key strengths which qualified him for the prestigious scholarship. His commitment, also, enabled him to graduate from the environmental master's degree with a distinction award. Following an old dream, Ali applied for a PhD research project at Coventry University in 2019 where he has been awarded a studentship to research on 'dynamics modelling of linked circular economies' in the next 3.5 years.

PhD Project

In many urban areas, pathways of essential resources such as food, water and energy are subject to multiple inefficiencies. Circular economies try to minimize wastages by reusing or recycling the waste products within each resource stream. Explicitly linking these circular economies will enable us to exploit synergies between these cycles, thereby further reducing waste in the urban food-energy-water nexus.

This PhD aims to analyse the potential for waste reduction in urban food-energy-water nexus by explicitly linking the circular economies. The PhD focuses on System Dynamics Modelling (SDM) and Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) of food, energy and water cycles in urban or urbanising environments. Innovatively, these cycles will be modelled as an integrated system, explicitly recognizing that they do not operate in isolation and that feedbacks can cause non-linearly propagating effects. The modelling will be used to: a) suggest improvements to reduce overall waste in the nexus; b) illustrate how intended improvements affect the resource fluxes in other cycles; and c) identify possible bottlenecks, thresholds and other potential problems under different management or usage scenarios. The project focuses on four case study cities (metropolitan areas), located in the UK, the Netherlands, Brazil and South Africa.

This PhD project is linked to a broader research project (Waste FEW-ULL), funded by ESRC, which aims to map, model and reduce waste in the urban food-energy-water nexus in the four cities. Further information about this project is available at: https://wastefewull.weebly.com

Education/Academic qualification

Environment and Development, MSc, University of Reading

Sep 2017Sep 2018

Award Date: 13 Dec 2018

Political Science, Degree, Avicenna University

Sep 2010Mar 2014

Award Date: 7 Jan 2016


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