Campus News

UK Creates Center for Sustainable Manufacturing

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 7, 2009) – The University of Kentucky College of Engineering will establish a new Center for Sustainable Manufacturing (CSM) in 2010 as a strategic investment in the changing landscape of manufacturing in Kentucky and the American economy. The creation of the new center will require the approval of the UK Board of Trustees.

The center, to be headed by Ibrahim Jawahir, James F. Hardymon Chair of Advanced Manufacturing, will perform research for government, business and industrial clients, with its efforts built around incorporating a philosophy of reducing, reusing, recycling, recovering, redesigning and remanufacturing into manufacturing processes.

"We believe that sustainability must be an integral part of what we do and who we are as an institution," said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. "As the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world seek new and innovative ways to become more efficient, UK must be at the leading edge, helping to educate our students about sustainability, conducting groundbreaking sustainable research, and reaching out and applying that research to communities across the state."

The center’s research will be funded by grants from business and industrial clients, business associations, and state and federal government agencies.

“The establishment of UK’s Center for Sustainable Manufacturing demonstrates the College of Engineering’s forward-thinking and recognition that American manufacturers must change the way we create products," said Thomas W. Lester, dean of the college. "Both productivity and profitability require the wise and frugal use of resources and raw materials, as well as production methods that reduce waste and energy consumption. The CSM will help redefine the role of manufacturing in Kentucky and preserve America’s position atop the world economy.”

The creation of the Center for Sustainable Manufacturing comes as part of a restructuring of the College of Engineering’s existing emphasis on manufacturing. CSM will evolve from the Center for Manufacturing.

The Lean Manufacturing Program is being moved from the Center for Manufacturing into the Institute of Research for Technology Development (IR4TD), which is directed by Kozo Saito, the Tennessee Valley Authority Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Center for Manufacturing staff members are being reassigned to other positions within the college, Lester said, including the departments of mechanical engineering and chemical and electrical engineering.

Meanwhile, the college's Masters in Manufacturing Systems Program will be transferred from the Center for Manufacturing to the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Lester noted that many aspects of the restructuring require consultation with the college and university faculty bodies.

The creation of the CSM and its structure will then be presented to the UK Board of Trustees for its approval sometime next spring, Lester said.