MJ2659 Technology and Ecosystems, Larger Course 7.5 credits

Teknik och ekosystem, större kurs

Please note

The information on this page is based on a course syllabus that is not yet valid.

The course will provide knowledge about natural resources and environmental consequences from technical systems, technical processes and human behavior in society.

The course differs from MJ2655 since it contains an extra project task.

  • Education cycle

    Second cycle
  • Main field of study

    Environmental Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering
  • Grading scale

    A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Course offerings

Autumn 19 for programme students

Autumn 18 for programme students

Intended learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to study the connection between ecosystems and socio-technical systems; how the socio-technical systems are dependant on functioning ecosystems at the same time as human use of natural resources influences structures and processes in the ecosystems.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Account for central concepts in ecosystem ecology.
  • Describe and explain the most important global and regional environmental problems of today, different actors' contributions to the problems as well as the development of the problems over time.
  • Given a global or regional environmental problem, identify and assess possible measures for improvement.
  • Discuss consequences for the interpretation of sustainable development based on the concept ecological carrying capacity.
  • Define a socio-technical system with relevant system boundaries as well as identify and analyse the environmental impact associated with the system and potential improvement measures.
  • In writing and orally present literature and project assignment according to established scientific methodology as well as compare scientific and popular science written communication in the environmental context.

Course main content

o Concepts such as ecosystems, ecosystem services, ecological carrying capacity and planetary boundaries as well as their relation to technical development, population growth, welfare and sustainable development.

o The most important global and regional environmental problems of today such as global warming, acidification, eutrophication, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollutants, biodiversity, freshwater scarcity and deforestation.

o Trends and changes around the use of natural resources such as forest, soil and drinking water.

o Analysis of a socio-technical system- e g production and use of energy, transports, foods, electronics and textiles and its dependence as well as influence on ecosystems.

o Which role societal actors at different levels e g individuals, companies, organisations and public authorities, play in relation to regional and global environmental problems and possible solutions.


The course consists of lectures, literature assignment, project assignment and written examination. Literature assignment and project assignment require submission of analysis/reports as well as active participation in seminars. The literature assignment is individual and consists of a written book analysis and formulation of questions for discussion. The project work, that is divided into an individual part and a groupwork part, is based on the concept of planetary boundaries that are studied in relation to a specific socio-technical system.


Open to KTHs degree programme students with at least 150 credits or a Degree of Bachelor for the other applicant.


Will be announced at the beginning of the course

Required equipment


  • LIT1 - Literature Assignment, 1.0, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project 1, 2.0, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO2 - Project 2, 1.5, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Requirements for final grade

Offered by

ABE/Sustainability and Environmental Engineering


Magnus Svensson (svensson@kth.se)


Fredrik Gröndahl <fredrik.grondahl@abe.kth.se>


Course syllabus valid from: Autumn 2019.
Examination information valid from: Autumn 2012.