The National Science Foundation (NSF) and The Lucent Technologies Foundation have awarded 18 grants to researchers across the nation to advance the emerging field of industrial ecology and to encourage businesses to integrate pollution prevention practices into their day-to-day operations.
The NSF/Lucent Technologies Industrial Ecology Research Fellowships are each worth up to $50,000 per year for two years. They will support an individual or group of researchers focusing on research or teaching to help industry design processes that prevent pollution and create environmentally friendly products.
Industrial ecology provides a systematic approach to achieve complete pollution prevention by eliminating the root causes.
"A key goal of the fellowships is educating the next generation of environmental scientists and engineers by helping them and their teachers to carry out fundamental environmental research," said Janie Fouke, who directs NSF's Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems. "Our hope is that these awards will bring together researchers from many fields to collaborate on solutions to common environmental concerns. We are especially interested in seeing researchers develop innovations that offer incentives -- such as greater efficiency and cost savings -- that will motivate industry to adopt more ecological processes."
This year's awards mark the first partnership between NSF and The Lucent Technologies Foundation. The awards carry on the industrial ecology fellowship program begun five years ago by AT&T Foundation and continued by Lucent.
"Many industries are incorporating the techniques of industrial ecology into their environmental planning as a result of regulations, public opinion and, in many cases, cost savings," said Robert A. Laudise, adjunct director of chemical research at Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies.
"However," Laudise added, "we need more basic research in many areas: to develop environmentally benign processes and products, assess life cycles, develop design tools, model environmental impact priorities, design for material and energy minimization, understand interactions between product use and the environment, design for disassembly or recycling, assess environmental risks, and find ways to encourage pollution prevention through legal, regulatory, economic and management processes."
The industrial ecology fellowships this year total $ 1.2 million for 13 new awards and five renewals.
1997 NSF/Lucent Technologies Industrial Ecology Research Fellows
These researchers have received the 1997 National Science Foundation/Lucent Technologies Industrial Ecology Research Fellowships. For more information about specific grants, please contact the public affairs office at these institutions.
University of Alabama: John Kaplan Gershenson
Green Modularity: Ecology and Product Retirement
- The research seeks to identify how to incorporate into the process of mechanical design the concept of modular units that can be disassembled and recycled or reused at the end of a product's life.
Colorado State University: Carol McConica
Nonflowing Chemical Processing for Thin Film Manufacturing
- A study of a technique to eliminate the unnecessary flow of chemicals during processing of thin films manufactured for integrated circuits.
Yale University: Thomas E. Graedel
Modeling the Industrial Ecosystem
- A mathematical investigation of the flows of materials, energy and capital in an industrial ecosystem, analogous to models of biological ecosystems.
Florida Institute of Technology: John Engblom
Life Cycle Assessment/Design Methodology for Reinforced Commingled Recycled Plastic Lumber (CRPL)
- Analysis of structural form and potential life cycle of synthetic lumber, and development of a method to design this product with computer technology.
Georgia Institute of Technology: Dennis W. Hess
Removal of Organic Films and Contaminants from Surfaces Using Elevated Pressure, Elevated Temperature Water
- Development of a new, ecologically superior approach to cleaning and conditioning surfaces of contaminants during fabrication of semiconductors.
University of Michigan: Gregory A. Keoleian
Life Cycle Design of Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems
- Development of a life-cycle design model to evaluate the full energy, environmental and economic benefits of equipping a building with solar energy technology compared to conventional systems for generating electricity.
University of Missouri-Rolla: Venkat Allada
Formalization of Disassembly Process to Support Serviceability and End-of-Product Life Options
- Development of a tool to provide insight in the design of products that can be disassembled into reusable, recyclable or benignly disposable components at the end of their useful life.
North Carolina State University: George W. Roberts
In-Situ Generation of Hazardous Reactants for Chemical Synthesis
- An evaluation of a novel reactor for on-site generation of chemicals as an environmentally benign approach to the problem of using reactive and hazardous chemicals in manufacturing.
Ohio State University: Julie Ann Stuart
Models and Instruction for Life Cycle Material Content Decisions
- A study of a polymer degradation approach to designing products with reusable materials. The study emphasizes integration of environmentally conscious engineering lessons into the student engineering curriculum.
Pennsylvania State University: Timothy Considine
Environmental and New Technology Adoption in the U.S. Steel Industry
- Integrated assessment of new recycling technology in the steel industry, including life cycle analysis of steel making and pollutant by-products; scrap recycling; investment in new steel-making technologies; the impact and tradeoffs of pollution control policies and environmental goals.
University of Rhode Island: Winston Knight
Models and Tools for End-of-Life Product Management
- Development of analytical tools to be used during early product design to evaluate the ease of disassembly and recycling, with the goal of more efficient bulk recycling, including the batch-mixing of different products.
Prairie View A&M University: Ziaul Huque
Pollution Control in Fuel Cell Applications Using Ceramic Candle Filter for Cleaner Power Generation
- The researcher seeks to develop a method of removing particulates and toxic pollutants from coal gas; for use in fuel cells. Research will include developing and testing a working prototype of a ceramic filter.
IVAM Environmental Research (Netherlands): René van Berkel Environmental Process Diagnosis and Improvement Tool
- University of Amsterdam research will develop and test a diagnostic and improvement tool that can help identify, evaluate and implement environmental improvements in manufacturing.
Second Year Continuing Awards FY 1997
for Industrial Ecology Fellowships
Funded by Lucent Technologies Foundation
Howard University: Ely A. Dorsey
An Environmental Justice Template of the Industrial Ecology Paradigm
- Researchers will examine fairness issues involved in how sites are chosen for new manufacturing facilities and pollution cleanup.
Rutgers University: Daniel J. Shanefield and W.
High Solids, Water Based Tape Casting
- Aims to eliminate volatile solvents used to prepare ceramic tape - a large source of environmental impact in the ceramic industry.
Brown University: Joseph M. Calo
"Point Source" Metals Recovery Via Spouted Bed Electrolytic Reactors
- A new design for electrolytic recovery of metals used in electroplating, with strong prospects for reducing costs.
University of Virginia: Susan E. Carlson-Skalak
Focusing on Ecology Within Concurrent Engineering Framework
- Researchers propose developing software to help incorporate environmental factors into engineering planning practices.
University of Wisconsin-Madison: Rajit Gadh
Design for Disassembly to Support Virtual De-manufacturing
- Developing computer-aided product design tools which address issues of ease of manufacturing and ease of disassembly and recycling.