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Lifecycle Design and Manufacturing

Life Cycle Thinking is about going beyond the traditional focus on production site and manufacturing processes to include environmental, social and economic impacts of a product over its entire life cycle (UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative)

The Lifecycle Design and Manufacturing (LDM) research group creates computer-aided tools and technologies for supporting data-driven, product lifecycle management. We have a strong focus on integrating environmental sustainability assessment and decision-making into product and process design. Our research lies at the interface of engineering design, manufacturing engineering, information modeling, human-computer interaction, and environmental engineering.


APPLICATIONS / CHALLENGES / RESEARCH DIRECTIONS

  • Integrating environmental sustainability into product conceptualization
  • Manufacturing process modeling for estimating resource efficiencies
  • Multi-criteria optimization & decision analysis for balancing sustainability, performance, and cost
  • Data-driven modeling and digital exploration tools for product lifecycle data
  • Assessing environmental performance of product supply chains


MAIN SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL INTERESTS

Our research is focused on the following themes,

Environmental sustainability-based decision-making in lifecycle engineering

  • creating streamlined indicators and ideation-support tools in conceptual and early product design 
  • developing visualization & analytics tools for product lifecycle information
  • data-driven process modeling for sustainable manufacturing

Design, systems optimization, and assessment of technologies for sustainable development

  • environmental sustainability assessment of photovoltaic powered electrodialysis desalination
  • multi-criteria decision-making and technology assessment for supporting sustainable development goals 

Socio-technical approaches for human-centered sustainable design

  • assessing end-user preferences and perceptions of sustainability
  • incorporating user behavior into design of energy using products

Teaching sustainable design & manufacturing in engineering curricula

  • creating rapid design exploration and prototyping tools for experiential learning
  • integrating sustainable product design into undergraduate education through guided discovery instruction


KEY PUBLICATIONS

  • Ramani, K., Ramanujan, D., Bernstein, W. Z., Zhao, F., Sutherland, J., Handwerker, C., ... & Thurston, D. (2010). Integrated sustainable life cycle design: a review. Journal of Mechanical Design132(9), 091004.
  • Ramanujan, D., Bernstein, W. Z., Chandrasegaran, S. K., & Ramani, K. (2017). Visual Analytics Tools for Sustainable Lifecycle Design: Current Status, Challenges, and Future Opportunities. Journal of Mechanical Design139(11), 111415.


COURSES
 

Sustainable Design & Production

 

MSc. THESIS & BSc. PROJECTS

We are always interested in working with motivated MSc. & BSc. students. Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Ramanujan if you are curious about potential project ideas.