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Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung
This project is co-funded by the European Union

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News  |  16 May 2017

Call for Papers // Virtual Special Issue on “Food-Energy-Water Nexus”

This special issue of "Resources, Conservation and Recycling", ed. by Ming Xu, will provide an opportunity for knowledge exchange to advance our understanding of current state of FEW systems and emerging methodological techniques on FEW nexus modeling that will lead to guiding and developing sustainable and resilient FEW systems.


Mankind faces a critical challenge to ensure plentiful supply of food, energy, and water (FEW) resources while simultaneously minimizing environmental degradation. FEW systems are interconnected, interdependent, and represent a complex web of challenges that span multiple spatial and temporal scales. Addressing these challenges will require adopting holistic systems-based approaches to devise novel solutions and avoid unintended consequences. Achieving sustainability and resilience of the FEW nexus will require developing a comprehensive understanding of the domains within which FEW systems are embedded including their interactions with the natural (surrounding ecosystems), engineered (built environment), and social (legal, government, policy) systems.


We encourage submission of original research articles that focus on significant research contributions, case studies, and review articles describing opportunities and challenges for FEW nexus. Broadly speaking, we welcome submission of articles covering topics including, but not limited to:

  1. Advances in methodological tools and techniques for modeling FEW systems

    1. Systems-level approaches for understanding interdependencies, interconnectedness, and complexity of FEW systems

    2. Systems-level techniques for understanding linkages of FEW systems with ecological systems, built environment, and social systems

    3. Current status of FEW systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales including investigation of evolutionary trends

  2. Current status, challenges, and barrier for sustainable and resilient FEW systems

    1. Case studies and perspectives on FEW nexus

    2. Sustainability and resilience metrics for FEW systems at multiple scales

    3. Modeling and understanding vulnerabilities for FEW systems at multiple scales

    4. Local, regional, national, and international perspectives, opportunities, and challenges

  3. Solutions and strategies towards sustainable and resilient FEW systems

    1. Technological, social, behavioral, and policy solutions

    2. Quantification of life cycle environmental impacts of technological and policy solutions for enhancing sustainability and resilience of FEW systems

    3. Industrial symbiosis approaches for FEW systems

    4. Emerging paradigms for FEW nexus analysis

Submission Format and Guideline

All submitted papers must contain only original work, which has not been published by or is currently under review for any other journal or conference. A detailed submission guideline is available as “Guide for Authors” at:

All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted through Elsevier Editorial System ( The authors must select “VSI: FEW Nexus” in the submission process.

A Virtual Special Issue (VSI) is an online-only grouping of Special Issue articles traditionally assigned to a single Special Issue. Each article in a VSI is assigned a unique identifier and then published in a regular journal issue as soon as available. The unique identifier allows us to simultaneously add the article to a VSI on ScienceDirect which is gradually built up as individual articles are published online. Articles grouped together in a VSI retain their original citation details. A VSI speeds up the publication of individual articles as, unlike the publication process for conventional Special Issue articles, a VSI does not need to wait for the final article to be ready before publication.

Guest Editors

  • Dr. Vikas Khanna, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (
  • Dr. Melissa Bilec, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (
  • Dr. Kaveh Madani, Reader in Systems Analysis and Policy, Center for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, London, U.K. (
  • Dr. Stephan Pfister, Senior Research Associate, Ecological System Design, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (
  • Dr. Steven Kenway, Research Group Leader, Water-Energy-Carbon, School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland (

Important Dates

  • Full paper submission deadline: September 30, 2017
  • Final decision notification deadline: February 28, 2018
  • Publication of virtual special issue: March 31, 2018

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