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Engineering professor named energy thought leader

by Jeanne Baron

July 1, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Dr. John Patten, WMU.
Dr. John Patten
KALAMAZOO--Dr. John Patten, professor and chair of manufacturing engineering at Western Michigan University, has been recognized by Business Review as one of its 2011 Thought Leaders in Energy.

Patten and four others around West Michigan were singled out for having "developed specialties in their professions" as well as "challenging the status quo and innovating every day." They were celebrated during a networking event last month at the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Art Museum.

A WMU faculty member since 2003, Patten is known for his work in the areas of energy-efficient vehicles and green manufacturing. He came to the University as the Department of Manufacturing Engineering's first chair, and now also is founding director of WMU's Battle Creek-based Manufacturing Research Center.

As that center's director, Patten launched the Green Manufacturing Initiative and related Green Manufacturing Industrial Consortium. The initiative provides a conduit between the University and industry to facilitate cooperative research programs that support industry's sustainability goals and efforts.

More details about Patten's work and thoughts on energy innovation in Michigan appear online in a May 19 Business Review interview titled "Thought Leader in Energy John Patten: Driving automotive advances."