We catch up with YPG Member, Dr. Ramy Salemdeeb

Dr. Ramy Salemdeeb is a founding member of the Young Professionals. He is a waste & resource management consultant with a focus on post-conflict zones and developing countries. He is the founder of "Zero Waste MENA", a regional initiative to promote sustainable practices to create zero waste communities in the MENA region.

29 May 2017 -


1. Congratulations on your PhD! Can you tell us about your topic?

My PhD research focuses on quantifying the environmental impact of food waste management options using a hybrid life cycle assessment approach. In addition to looking at conventional downstream food waste management technologies (i.e., in-vessel composting, anaerobic digestion and incineration), my research investigates the potential benefits associated with the introduction of a food-waste-to-animal-feed technology. It also explores the potential environmental benefits associated with food waste prevention.


2. What inspired you to choose this topic?

Whilst undertaking my MSc project, I noticed that a gap exists in quantifying the environmental impacts of all stages of the food waste hierarchy.


3. What areas require further research required in your topic?

The main are is Life Cycle Inventory data collection and quality assurance



4. Where can we read about all the wonderful work you have published over the years?

A list of my PhD-related publications is available below. Other publications are listed on my Research Gate’s page  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ramy_Salemdeeb (more details at the bottom of the page)


5. What was the best and frustrating memory of your PhD journey?

BEST: My best memory is the moment when examiners informed me that I passed (unsurprisingly!).

FRUSTRATING: My least preferable time is the last three months when I was writing-up and working at the same time, it was pretty tough.


6. How has the ISWA and YPG helped you in your career?

My Mentor has helped me enormously in the writing-up stage. I had a couple of Skype calls to discuss the structure and the content of my PhD thesis.


7. What advice would you give to young researchers trying to figure out a topic for their research or PhD?

Read lots … Seek advice … Ask yourself “so what?”; this question should help you to identify your contribution to science. 


8. What are you future plans?

Spend time working in industry and keep working on expanding Zero Waste MENA activities. 



Peer reviewed journal articles:


Salemdeeb R, zu Ermgassen EKHJ, Kim MH, Balmford A, Al-Tabbaa A (2017) Environmental and Health Impacts of Using Food Waste as Animal Feed: A Comparative Analysis of Food Waste Management Options. Journal of Cleaner Production. 140 (2017), 871-880.

Salemdeeb R., Font Vivanco D, Al-Tabbaa A., zu Ermgassen EKHJ (2017) A Holistic Model to the Environmental Evaluation of Food Waste. Waste Management. 59 (2017), 442-450*.

Salemdeeb R., Al-Tabbaa, A., Reynolds C (2016) The UK waste input-output table: linking waste generation to the UK economy, Waste Management and Research. 34 (10), 1089-1094.

Peer-reviewed letters:


Ermgassen EKHJ, Balmford A, Salemdeeb R (2016) Reduce, Relegalize, and Recycle Food Waste. Science. 352 (6293), 1526.


Conference papers:


Salemdeeb R, Al-Tabbaa A (2015) A Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment of Food Waste Management Options: A UK Case Study. In: The ISWA 2015 World Congress. Antwerp, Belgium: International Solid Waste Association. 334–339.

Salemdeeb R, Al-Tabbaa A (2015) An Ecological Assessment of Food Waste Composting Using a Hybrid Life-Cycle Assessment. In: R. Clift ed. The 8th Conference of the International Society for Industrial Ecology. Surrey: Int. Society for Industrial Ecology

Salemdeeb R, Al-Tabbaa A (2016) An Ecological Comparison of Food Waste Management Options Using A Hybrid Life Cycle Assessment Approach: A UK Case-Study of Composting, Anaerobic Digestion and Animal Feed. In: The 31st International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management. Philadelphia, USA: Widener University.

* This article has also featured in an article entitled “Reducing food waste helps, but it’s going to take systematic action to tackle climate change” and was subsequently published in the Conversation UK (zu Ermgassen, 2016).


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