CEE Seminar: Sustainable Manufacturing: Historical Perspective and Current Initiatives
Society is increasingly aware of environmental challenges: solid, liquid, and airborne waste streams; shortages of water, material, and energy resources; and climate change. These growing concerns make it ever clearer that fundamental changes are needed to become sustainable. Every part of society must assume some responsibility for responding to this sustainability challenge - including the manufacturing sector. For nearly three decades, Professor Sutherland (and his students and colleagues) have undertaken a variety of research initiatives focused on reducing the environmental footprint of manufacturing. Some of these efforts will be described: less cutting fluid use in machining, promoting remanufacturing, and improving workplace air quality. Promising directions for future research will also be discussed: i) smart/sustainable manufacturing, ii) circular economy - as a strategy for closing material loops (e.g., wind turbines and rare earths), iii) green manufacturing planning (e.g., schedule optimization for reduced manufacturing carbon footprints), and iv) reducing the environmental footprint of products and processes.