We face an array of environmental and social challenges: waste discharges to our waters, air, and lands; inequities in justice; shortages of water, material, and energy resources; unhealthy working conditions; climate change; employment and food insecurity. These concerns make it ever clearer that fundamental changes are needed to put us on a course to being sustainable. Every part of society must assume some responsibility for responding to this sustainability challenge – including those engaged in the manufacturing sector. For three decades, Professor Sutherland (and his students and colleagues) have undertaken a variety of research initiatives focused on reducing the environmental footprint of manufacturing and exploring the social impacts of manufacturing. The genesis of this research and some past work will be described, e.g., closing material loops via remanufacturing/recycling and developing indicators/ methodologies for social performance evaluation. Promising directions for future research will also be discussed.
Dr. John W. Sutherland is one of the world’s leading authorities on the application of sustainability principles to industrial issues. He has made pioneering research and education contributions, and provided leadership in establishing/advancing the field of environmentally responsible design and manufacturing. He has served as an investigator on over 90 externally funded projects valued in excess of $60M. He has mentored approximately 100 students to the completion of their graduate degrees, including 27 PhD students. He has published nearly 400 papers in various journals and conference proceedings and is co-author of the textbook: Statistical Quality Design and Control: Contemporary Concepts and Methods.
Sutherland is Head of Environmental and Ecological Engineering (EEE) at Purdue University. EEE has undergraduate and graduate degree programs and is one of the largest environmental engineering programs in the U.S. EEE is unique as a department in that it embraces industrial sustainability in addition to classic environmental engineering. For more information on EEE please refer to https://engineering.purdue.edu/EEE.
His honors and recognitions include the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award (1992), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1996), SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award (1999), SME Education Award (2009),SAE International John Connor Environmental Award (2010), ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award (2013), and SME Gold Medal (2018). Sutherland is a Fellow of SME, ASME, and CIRP. He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Host: Professor Chenhui Shao