Air and water pollution – shortages of water and material resources – climate change – overburdened landfills. These growing concerns make it ever clearer that fundamental changes are needed to become sustainable, i.e., achieve a long-term balance among the environmental, societal, and economic dimensions of sustainability. Every part of society must assume some responsibility for responding to this sustainability challenge – including manufacturing. Over the last 20 years, Professor Sutherland with his students and colleagues have undertaken a variety of research initiatives focused on reducing the sustainability footprint of manufacturing. Some of these efforts will be described, including: i) characterizing and reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing processes (e.g., less cutting fluid use in machining), ii) promoting remanufacturing/recycling as a strategy for closing material loops, and iii) systems modeling and optimization to support sustainability (e.g. schedule optimization for reduced manufacturing carbon footprints and development of corporate metrics for the social dimension of sustainability). Promising directions for future research will also be discussed.
John W. Sutherland is a Professor and Fehsenfeld Family Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering and his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For several decades he has pursued research related to the application of sustainability principles to design, manufacturing, and other industrial issues. He has mentored 80 students to the completion of their graduate degrees, including 21 PhD students. He has published over 275 papers in various journals and conference proceedings. He is also a co-author of the textbook, Statistical Quality Design and Control: Contemporary Concepts and Methods. Sutherland is a member of ASME, SME, CIRP, IIE, ASQ, SAE, and numerous honor societies. His recognitions include the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (1992), NSF Career Award (1995), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1996), SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award (1999), SME Education Award (2009), Outstanding Lifetime Service Award from NAMRI/SME (2010), and the SAE International John Connor Environmental Award (2010). He is a Fellow of SME, ASME, and CIRP.