End-of-Life Considerations in the Design Process

  • The National Academy of Engineers and other authoritative sources have cited the need for environmental sustainability to be included in the engineering design process to meet the growing environmental needs of this planet. The complexity of the problem requires a multi-disciplinary approach to analyze the complete life cycle of products to meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of future generations. To meet this need, a multi-disciplinary course was developed and offered at Kettering University. Seven unique modules were developed by faculty from various disciplines including (1) Historical, Social and Ethical perspectives, (2) Life Cycle Analysis, (3) Material Selection, (4) Manufacturing Process Design, (5) End of Use Considerations, (6) Environmentally Responsible Management and (7) Green Chemistry. The End-of-Use Considerations Module addresses strategies and challenges associated with reducing the environmental impact of a product after it has been used by a consumer or business. Discussion focuses on remanufacturing, recycling, and disposal options as extended product responsibility becomes the norm. In assessing current products, there is a lot of waste in packaging and the product itself. This results in an increased amount of potential resources that go to the landfill when the materials could have been recovered and reused indefinitely.
  • Terri Lynch-Caris
Learning Resource Type:
  • Reference – Educational Research Paper
  • Engineering – Ceramic
  • College Senior – Graduate
Media Type:
  • Document
  • Recycle
  • Remanufacture
  • Landfill
Related ABET Criteria:
Publication Date:
  • January 2012