Centers and Institutes
Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI)
To create and disseminate new scientific knowledge and engineering products in support of sustainability research and education.
The Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) will assimilate the multiple skills and capabilities required to support a new metadiscipline of sustainability science, including:
- the fundamental physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics needed for environmental assessment;
- ecological economics, including sustainability criteria in economic input-output analysis;
- industrial ecology and design at the process, plant, firm, regional, national, and global scale;
- information technology for real-time monitoring of processes, remote sensing of the environment, and geographical information systems;
- human and environmental impact modeling and risk assessment;
- social and behavioral research tools, and
- professional and K-through-gray educational programs, including assessment of their impacts on choices made by design engineers, policy makers, and consumers.
By advancing this metadisciplinary endeavor, the Institute will combine information and insights across multiple disciplines and perspectives.
Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steel Center (ASISC)
To support research, education, and outreach in all disciplines related to sustainable iron and steel production.
The Center for Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steel Making investigates and develops novel, advanced methods for producing the 130 million tons of iron and steel needed annually by the US in a sustainable, environmentally-acceptable manner.
Although primary iron manufacture is a multi-billion dollar industry in the US, research in this area is very limited. Yet, we find that the industry is still largely based on outdated technologies (oftentimes, more than a century old), and as a result many of the current practices are highly polluting and unsustainable. There is tremendous room for improvement, but only if completely new paradigms are developed for metals reduction that are not based on the unsustainable, polluting, energy-inefficient methods of the past.