I want to make industry representatives aware of how their decisions affect economy, environment and people simultaneously. This will hopefully result in positive decisions towards sustainability.
Congratulations to your degree of licentiate of engineering! On 20th September you held your licentiate seminar with the title “Towards a framework for enabling sustainable production systems: a life-cycle perspective”. Can you describe your topic?
My goal is to develop a set of methods to assess sustainability performances in production systems. These performances relate to economy, environment and society being affected by production systems’ activities. Let’s think of decisions like changing the layout of a facility, or implementing an energy management program, or leasing a new piece of equipment that would change operators’ tasks. What I investigate is: who and what will be affected by these decisions and how to measure the impacts stemming from an implementation of them. It is a very broad and complex investigation, which requires the use of assumptions and modelling. A continuous interaction with the process owners in industry is fundamental in order to preserve the quality of these kinds of studies.
What do you see as the main contribution from your work?
I want to make industry representatives aware of how their decisions affect economy, environment and people simultaneously. This will hopefully result in positive decisions towards sustainability. In a very goal-oriented reality, like industry, it is easy to fall into the short-term, narrow trap. By using the framework of methods I proposed, industrial decision-makers will be more prone to thinking in systems and understanding the impacts of their decisions in both a short and long-term horizon.
What will your future work focus on from now on up to your PhD dissertation?
I collected lots of good inputs during the discussion of my Licentiate seminar, and I will be using them to revisit the angle whereby I analyse production systems. What’s in my pipeline now, up to my PhD dissertation, is something I call SMMM – Sustainable Manufacturing Maturity Model. It is a visual tool that allows manufacturers to see how much they are mature in sustainability all over the products’ life cycle, from raw material to disposal. It stems from the same concept of TRL – Technology Readiness Level being developed by NASA, but applied to sustainability instead of tech readiness. I look forward to developing it and most of all testing it.