Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - 28

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Pushing the Boundaries
of Sustainability in
Global Materials
Material and process engineering
advancements can bring about
sustainability in products.
I
n the scope of human evolution, the notion of sustainability
is a new one. According to Wikipedia, the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development
brought about the current definition in Rio de Janeiro
in 1992. This means that only 30 years ago, people were
waking up to the idea that Gen X and the generations after
them would need to do a far better job of taking care
of this planet than ever before. From their earliest school
days, Gen X was taught that the Earth was in trouble; rivers
burned, acid rain fell upon our crops, and humans
were to blame. It was time to own our mistakes.
Luckily, those same students went to college and
learned how to approach these problems through a real-world
approach to sustainability. Now, sustainability is
so pervasive that it has filtered its way into every aspect of
the manufacturing supply chain. In fact, the push to address
a net-zero lifecycle is accelerating public discourse
and creating more urgency in an industrial response. And
not a moment too soon. The EPA is projecting that by 2050
the global population will increase by 50 percent, global economic
activity will increase by 500 percent, and energy material
use will increase by 300 percent.
Where and how will all these people live? How will they move
about? Work? Play? Rhetorical questions like these are regularly
posed by academics and manufacturers alike. The best of both
worlds regularly come together to push the boundaries of sustainability
in global materials and manufacturing across multiple technologies.
They focus on emerging technologies important to addressing diverse
market requirements in several fields, including aerospace, defense, automotive
and ground transportation, infrastructure and construction, energy
technology needs, e-mobility, as well as sustainability, recycling and, circular
economy (the triad).
28
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022

Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Intro
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Sponsor
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Cov1
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - Cov2
Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - 1
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Tech Briefs Magazine - July 2022 - 43
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