Collaborating to invent sustainable solutions.
On Thursday, May 13, 2010 we will have the good fortune of having Eric Beckman from the University of Pittsburgh on the UO campus for a special student lecture on green product design as part of the student kick off event for the University of Oregon Green Product Design Network.
As a polymer chemist and engineer, Eric received the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2002 and is the co-Director of the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative at Pitt.
Eric is an engaging speaker that appeals to a broad audience. Those interested in sustainable business, green buildings, green chemistry and product design will likely enjoy his presentation. All are welcome. Please help spread the word to those that you think might be interested.
Feel free to contact Julie Haack (email@example.com) if you have additional questions about the presentations or if you would like an opportunity to meet with Dr. Beckman while he is on campus.
Title: Challenges for students of green chemistry & design
Green design has, over the past decade, become very much a part of the toolkit for those creating the next generation of products and services. This has become the case for those of us who work at the molecular level (chemists) as well as those who operate at length scales of meters (architects). At the same time, today’s green designers face some substantial challenges if we want to continue, or even enhance, the pace at which green design advances. For example, while much attention is focused on green material design, it is often the additive package to materials (e.g., flame retardants, plasticizers, preservatives) rather than the material itself that causes environmental issues. Additives are produced, by and large, outside the US, and additive design is not considered a terribly glamorous field, meaning that progress to date has been slow. Moving to longer length scales, while improvements in new home construction have allowed for dramatic drops in energy usage, the means by which the energy load of existing homes is reduced have not changed measurably in decades, despite the fact that these existing homes (and commercial buildings) consume a sizable fraction of our nation’s electricity. This talk will present a number of pressing issues for today’s students of green design, showing how collaborations between disparate disciplines will be needed to make significant breakthroughs.