My research interests include the topics described below. I'm always open to explore any related, exciting topics. For details about current projects, see the Personnel, Publications, and CV sections of my website by clicking on the links to the left.
Environmentally Sustainable Materials Use
Lightweight materials (e.g., aluminum, plastics, and composites) offer many opportunities for the reduction of costs and environmental impacts during product use, primarily due to reduced energy consumption. However, lightweight materials present challenges over the product life cycle, e.g., embodied petroleum and barriers to material recovery. Thus, it is important for engineers to rigorously evaluate life cycle environmental impacts of lightweight materials and conventional materials beginning in the product design stage. Material selection methodologies based on the investigation of life cycle environmental impacts will contribute to environmental sustainability efforts.
Environmental Performance of Nanomanufacturing Processes
Nanomaterials and microproducts offer many benefits to society and the prospect of paradigm shifts on many technological fronts, including health care, communications, energy production and supply, and water treatment. Current nanomanufacturing processes, however, are energy and waste-intensive - requiring production energy and creating wastes/emissions at several orders of magnitude greater than traditional materials. As nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing continue to develop, analysis strategies must be developed and implemented to ensure a safe and clean transistion to a nanotechnology-based society.
Manufacturing Energy Use
Fossil fuels embody 91% of the primary energy for the U.S. industrial sector, which is also the largest user of natural gas (2006 US Annual Energy Review). The need for research into alternative energies has received increasing attention as the negative impacts, e.g., acidification and increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, due to the combustion of fossil fuels has been recognized. Manufacturers must be prepared to make process design and selection decisions that reduce the use of fossil fuels. Models of industrial process energy use can support process planning efforts for energy efficiency improvement and the use of alternative energy in traditional processes and equipment.
Sustainable Product Design
Sustainable design increases the burden of data gathering activities since sustainable products must be socially acceptable, economically viable, and environmentally friendly. Much work has gone into the development of engineering analysis methodologies toward sustainable products, processes, and systems. Ways to efficiently incorporate sustainability analysis into the design process, leading to integrated sustainability and product performance analysis must be developed to facilitate its utilization.