Sustainable Manufacturing and Product Design
The sustainable use of materials, including the (re)design of products to maximize their sustainability, is an area of immense and rapidly growing environmental and economic importance. It also impacts the greater goal of enabling a much larger fraction of the world’s population to achieve the high standard of living that technology now confers upon the residents of developed nations, without exceeding the Earth’s capacity to supply the necessary raw materials and absorb the inevitable byproducts of activities required to generate technology.
The University of California, Santa Barbara has created an interdisciplinary initiative to integrate sustainability considerations into research in the chemical sciences and engineering, including assessment/minimization of environmental impact and assessment/optimization of economic feasibility, cultivation of public awareness, and social acceptance of sustainability goals. A team of researchers from chemistry and biochemistry, chemical engineering, environmental science, technology management, and communication is collaborating to improve the efficiency, reduce the environmental impact, and improve social acceptance of alternative chemical technologies.
As the focal point for this effort, the University has established a cluster of four endowed research Chairs: the Mellichamp Academic Initiative Professorships in Sustainability. The Chairholders will have overlapping and complementary interests in green chemistry, sustainable manufacturing, catalytic processing, and the economics of new technologies.