WMU Home > WMU News

WMU News

WMU News on Twitter

Green manufacturing will be topic of events

May 4, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Green manufacturing will be the focus at Western Michigan University May 5-6 as Midwest leaders in the field share their insights with a broad-based group of southwest Michigan companies. An industrial consortium also will be launched to pursue greening of the manufacturing industry and supply chain.

Wednesday, May 5, representatives from about 75 companies will gather at the WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences' Parkview Campus for a day of presentations by executives from such firms as Herman Miller, Subaru, Cummins, Perrigo, Kellogg Co., Cascade Engineering and DENSO. The meeting is intended to help build a critical mass of West Michigan companies actively pursuing green manufacturing techniques.

The Wednesday gathering is part of a green manufacturing initiative funded last fall with a $1 million federal award to Dr. John Patten, chair of manufacturing engineering and director of the WMU Center for Manufacturing Research. The award was intended to assist businesses throughout West Michigan in creating more energy efficient and environmentally benign processes and products.

According to Patten, the day of activities is intended to provide the companies attending with an opportunity to learn and network with University representatives as well as companies who represent a broad cross-section of the manufacturing sector and are committed to green manufacturing. The initiative will provide services to help companies become greener.

Public address Wednesday, May 5

While the meetings are open to area businesses by invitation only, one part of the day's activities is free and open to the public. That is a 3:30 p.m. address on Wednesday, May 5, by William Stough, chief executive officer of the Sustainable Research Group. His talk is part of WMU's Custer Lecture Series.

The talk will focus on "Using Sustainable Development Principles to Achieve Greener Manufacturing on the Shop Floor." Stough has more than 25 years experience in providing technical assistance in the fields of environmentally sustainable business initiatives, industrial ecology, pollution prevention and ISO 14001 environmental management systems. He is the founder and past president of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and has organized regional sustainable business networks in the Saginaw Bay Watershed, in Southeast Michigan and in Central Michigan.

Thursday, May 6, will see a smaller group of industry leaders in green manufacturing--a subset of the previous day's group--gather for the inaugural meeting of that new consortium. The Green Manufacturing Industrial Consortium is an industry/University cooperative research and development body that is modeled after the National Science Foundations successful Research Centers Program.

According to Dr. David Meade, associate director of the Green Manufacturing Industrial Consortium, the group's members will be companies engaged with the University to collaborate on green manufacturing projects and programs. The consortium will identify and promote projects of mutual interest throughout the manufacturing enterprise. The efforts they undertake will range from focused projects such as material selection in product design and green manufacturing processes to general activities such as waste reduction and elimination in manufacturing (lean manufacturing), and energy conservation.

The GMIC also is supported by the federal funding received by WMU last fall, but is primarily funded through the dues paid by member organizations. Thursday's afternoon meeting will be the GMIC's first official gathering. The afternoon is a closed business meeting for members only.

For more information about the Green Manufacturing Initiative at WMU, contact Dr. John Patten at john.patten@wmich.edu or (269) 276-3246; Dr. David Meade at david.meade@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6292; or Carey Schoolmaster at carey.schoolmaster@wmich.edu or (269) 276-3245.

Share |

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400