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New Engineering Design Concepts For Sustainable Products

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design for Community and Environment

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.955.1 - 11.955.13



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Paper Authors


Serdar Tumkor Istanbul Technical University

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Dr. Serdar Tumkor is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey. He has been a full-time faculty member since 1996. Dr. Tumkor received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Istanbul Technical University in 1994. His teaching interests are Machine Design, Engineering Design, and Computer-Aided Technical Drawing. His research interests include Ecological Manufacturing, Design Methodology, Design for Disassembly, End of Life Strategies, Automated Disassembly, Electronic Packaging, PCB Soldering, computer integrated design, process planning and manufacturing, gear and continuously variable transmission manufacturing, design for optimum cost, online design catalogs, and web-based collaboration.

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Karl Haapala Michigan Technological University

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Karl R. Haapala is an NSF IGERT Doctoral Trainee and Graduate Scholar in the Sustainable Futures Institute at Michigan Technological University.
He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics focusing on predictive manufacturing process models for improving product environmental performance. He received his B.S. (2001) and M.S. (2003) in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.

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Vishesh Kumar Michigan Technological University

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Vishesh Kumar is a Henes Graduate Fellow at Michigan Technological University and is pursuing his Ph.D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics since Fall 2002. Mr. Kumar received his B.Tech. Degree (Mechanical Engineering) from IIT Kanpur in 2000.
Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, he worked as a research engineer in the R&D division of an Indian automotive manufacturer (Maruti Udyog Ltd.). Mr. Kumar's research is focused on economic sustainability of automotive recycling infrastructure and value recovery of various products at the end-of-use stage of the product life-cycle. He has published seven papers in various journal and conference proceedings in the areas of environmental sustainability. He is a member of SME, ASME, SAE and TMS.

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John Sutherland Michigan Technological University

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Dr. John W. Sutherland is the Henes Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering† Engineering Mechanics and Co-Director of the Sustainable Futures Institute at Michigan Technological University. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1987. Prior to joining the faculty at Michigan Tech in 1991, he served as Vice President of a small manufacturing consulting company. His research and teaching interests are focused on design and manufacturing for sustainability. Dr. Sutherland is the recipient of numerous awards for his education and research activities.

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More restrictive environmental legislation as well as increasing environment-related costs have lead to the consideration of new design aspects during product development. Design teams must consider the effects of the entire life-cycle at the product design stage. Engineering design education plays a major role in defining the way to achieve sustainable futures by providing engineering students with the tools necessary to create innovative products with acceptable life cycle costs and environmental impact during and after the product use. To address this need projects are assigned to students in senior-level course MAK422E Engineering Design at Istanbul Technical University Mechanical Engineering Dept. In this course, the projects are prepared as teams of 7 to 8 students with an objective to redesign a product to reduce its environmental impact, while maintaining functionality and costs. To accomplish this goal, several DfE (Design for Environment) approaches (e.g., design for disassembly, design for reuse/remanufacturing, design for recycling, design for energy efficiency, design for minimum material usage, and design for minimum hazardous material) are applied. As a result of this effort several useful and new design concepts have been derived for different household appliances. In this paper, new aspects in the design process from definition to detail is presented, which is applied by the students for more environmentally-friendly products.

1. Introduction

A variety of design courses exist in engineering education. The primary objective of such courses is to teach engineering design fundamentals utilizing repeatable design techniques. The most popular approach to teach undergraduate engineering design is through a structured, problem solving method that students use to tackle open-ended design problems1-4. The focus has been shifting toward providing tools and techniques to new designers that allow them to evaluate the cost, manufacturing, usability, and environmental consequences of their designs. Some senior-level design courses address these issues through the use of Design for X concepts and techniques. Design for Environment (DfE), or Ecodesign, assists product developers in reducing the life cycle environmental impact of a product by enhancing its design. DfE includes reducing resource consumption, in terms of material and energy, and pollution prevention5-7. Similarly, Design for Dissassembly (DfD) and Design for Recycling (DfR) allow the product designer to have a substantial, positive impact on the environmental aspects of a product’s life cycle.

Life Cycle Assesment (LCA) tools also assists the designer in reducing product environmental impacts. The ultimate goal of LCA is to minimize the environmental burden arising from the material acquisition, manufacture, use, and postuse (e.g., reuse, remanufacture, recycle). The following steps are used in LCA: (1) Define scope and boundaries, (2) Conduct a life cycle inventory, (3) Conduct a life cycle impact assessment, and (4) Conduct an improvement analysis.

Tumkor, S., & Haapala, K., & Kumar, V., & Sutherland, J. (2006, June), New Engineering Design Concepts For Sustainable Products Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--758

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