2015 Short Summer Course (2.50S): Energy, Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment

The purpose of this class is to address the issues of sustainability and to expand the engineering perspective of this problem. First, we review the concept of sustainability from several points of view including economics, ecology, and business. This discussion addresses the shortcomings of several approaches including “eco-efficiency” and the “Triple Bottom Line”, and builds a framework for addressing sustainability from an engineering perspective. We then develop the different pieces of this framework in some detail with the emphasis on energy and materials resources, life cycle assessment and ecosystem services. In the final day, we discuss solution approaches and future directions.


2.813/2.83 Energy Materials and Manufacturing

Introduction to the major dilemma that faces manufacturing (and society) for the 21st Century; how to provide economic growth while protecting the environment. Subject explores scientific data, models and scenarios for the future, and green engineering values, then addresses the major engineering themes of energy, materials, processing, life cycle analysis, design for the environment, recycling, and the economy. Class conducted in a discussion format, topics are usually presented through journal articles and selected texts, often with opposing views. Term long project. Journal quality project required for grad credit. Enrollment limited to 20.


2.810 Manufacturing Processes and Systems

Introduction to manufacturing systems and manufacturing processes including assembly, machining, injection molding, casting, thermoforming, and more. Emphasis on the relationship between physics and randomness to quality, rate, cost, and flexibility. Attention to the relationship between the process and the system, and the process and part design. Project (in small groups) requires fabrication (and some design) of a product using several different processes (as listed above).