A product’s environmental impacts result from design, production, and operational choices. Industrial ecology identifies economic ways to improve these environmental impacts, chiefly by designing for circular material flows, improving energy effectiveness and material choice, changing user behavior, systems thinking, and otherwise promoting sustainability. The objective of this course is to do all of the above for a product to conceptually invent or innovate a market- viable alternative. To do this, a broad spectrum of industrial activities is reviewed, including products and services. This course examines to what extent environmental and social concerns have already affected specific industries, and where additional progress can be made. Student activities include a critical review of current literature, participation in class discussion, and a term project in design for the environment.
ENGS 21 and ENGS 37 or instructor permission for MBA students. Students should have a basic understanding of how to progress from initial concept to prototype, and should have a basic understanding of environmental impacts such as pollution and climate change.