• [ December 7, 2012 ]
    Ames, IA

  • Workshop: Iowa NSF EPSCoR Bioenergy Series


Successful Sustainable Design at the Intersection of Engineering and Human Behaviour

December 7, 2012

Ames, IA

Brown Bag Lunch
1124 Biorenewables Research Laboratory
Iowa State University
Ames, IA

Speaker:  Erin MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Art & Design at ISU.

Sustainable design readily spreads across many disciplines and necessarily requires an interdisciplinary and system-based design approach. At the heart of this system is the relationship between product engineering and human behavior. The designer must include this relationship in the product’s design along with other sustainability concerns such as technology advancement, life cycle assessment, policy compliance, larger societal impact, and economic viability.  As behavior is difficult for engineers to quantify, it can be lost in engineering analysis. The resulting sustainable products and technologies may not be used and/or purchased, may not be as efficient as predicted, and thus may not have the beneficial impact that they were designed to have. The relationship between the sustainable product engineering and human behavior can be quantified, for example by modeling decision-making, and incorporated into engineering analysis. Often, the reformulation of the engineering system problem required to accommodate human behavior is beneficial to other elements of the design. Dr. MacDonald will speak on three different projects in this area: 1) Wind farm layout optimization with respect to landowner concerns, 2) Design for the consideration of sustainable consumer products, and 3) Broad recommendations for market-successful sustainable design.

More information on workshop series.