Robert U. Ayres is a physicist and economist, currently Novartis professor emeritus of economics, political science and technology management at INSEAD.. He is also Institute Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, and a King’s Professor in Sweden. He has previously taught at Carnegie-Mellon University, and as a visiting Professor at Chalmers Institute of Technology. He is noted for his work on technological forecasting, life cycle assessment, mass-balance accounting, energy efficiency and the role of thermodynamics in economic growth. He originated the concept of “industrial metabolism”, known today as “industrial ecology” with its own journal. He has conducted pioneering studies of materials/energy flows in the global economy.
Ayres is author or co-author of 21 books and more than 200 journal articles and book chapters. The most recent books are Energy, Complexity and Wealth Maximization (Springer, 2016), The Bubble Economy (MIT Press, 2014) “Crossing the Energy Divide” with Edward Ayres (Wharton Press, 2010) and The Economic Growth Engine with Benjamin Warr (Edward Elgar, 2009)