Innovation in sustainable manufacturing education
Sustainable value creation entails generating value for all stakeholders from economic, environmental and social perspectives. In a manufacturing context, creating sustainable value requires product, process and systems level innovations to enable near-perpetual closed-loop material flow across multiple life-cycles; it also requires understanding the complex interactions of the socio-technical systems with the natural environment for emergent synthesis so sustainable value creation can occur
... eation can occur harmoniously and continuously. However, current educational curricula with traditional disciplines is fragmented and do not represent the multidisciplinarity or the integration needs; it is now necessary to work at the interface of the various disciplines to address the complex issues that are brought about through sustainability. Thus, to create sustainable value through sustainable manufacturing will require transformational and innovative reforms in education with an overall paradigm shift to provide the future generation of engineers, scientists and managers the necessary technical knowledge, skills and capabilities. This paper presents recent trends in developing such innovative educational programs in sustainable manufacturing. Also, the technological challenges posed by the need for implementing viable innovative sustainable manufacturing educational programs inevitably require fundamental studies on total life-cycle products, closed-loop manufacturing processes and integrated production systems extending beyond to the entire supply chain operations. This paper is aimed at tackling these significant challenges by essentially developing sustainable value propositions for all forms of educational programs (formal degrees and certificate level programs, professional/continuing education programs, short courses and web-based interactive learning programs, etc.) to incorporate the new knowledge needed to promote value-added sustainable manufacturing at product, process and system levels.