Hello Again! In honor of Earth Day being on April 22, we decided to talk about Sustainability in respect to our fields (similar to what we did for Breast Cancer Awareness Month). So here I am talking about sustainability in engineering!
Sustainability within engineering is the process of designing processes and systems that does not compromise the natural environment or the ability for future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable Engineering focuses on a few key approaches when trying to determine the right solution:
The whole system in which the product or object will be used
Consider both technical and non-technical issues simultaneously
Try to solve the problem for the forever future
View the global scope of the entire process
Works with other experts in various disciplines to create the best solution
Engineers focused on sustainability within the environment focus on topics and issues such as water supply, food production, and transportation. At the population increases, we have a seen more constraints on being able to supply our basic necessities. Engineers are working to figure out what alternative processes that we can use to decrease rapid depletion of our natural resources. As a result, you'll probably see a lot of initiatives relating to decreasing waste and pollution as well as managing our materials.
To me, sustainability is important because in order to truly make an impact, you need to make sure it's a sustainable impact. Often times I see new products or technologies that fail to be inclusive or acknowledgement of various subgroups. As you all work to solve problems in engineering, work towards making sure those solutions are inclusive and sustainable for years to come when you are no longer overseeing that project. It can really go a long way.