Progressive Research Initiative in Sustainable Manufacturing (PRISM)

Grants and Contracts Details


The U.S. Department of Commerce defines sustainable manufacturing as: ‘‘the creation of manufactured products that use processes that minimize negative environmental impacts, conserve energy and natural resources, are safe for employees, communities, and consumers and are economically sound.’’ Achieving sustainability in manufacturing requires a holistic approach integrating not just the product and the manufacturing processes involved in its fabrication, but also the entire supply chain, including manufacturing systems. This integrated approach must look beyond single product-life toward multiple product life-cycles. Success in achieving more sustainable manufacturing brings benefits to Department of Defense (DoD) applications in terms of advanced design methodologies aimed at extended product life, lowered weight, lower energy costs, reduced logistical burden through sustainable supply chain management, among others. PRISM is a coordinated set of sustainable manufacturing research projects to achieve those goals while advancing the state of the art in sustainable manufacturing research and development at the product, process and systems levels. To be successfully implemented, sustainable manufacturing requires advanced crossdisciplinary research to enable the development of improved models, metrics for sustainability evaluation, and simulation/optimization techniques at the product, process, and system levels. PRISM research will also explore promising military applications for new lightweight materials and new manufacturing technologies and approaches which can serve to reduce the demand for raw materials and energy during manufacturing, reduce harmful environmental and societal impact and provide extended product life and lower energy costs during product use. Extending over four years, individual PRISM projects will pursue energy reduction in manufacturing at the plant level, sustainable value stream mapping of manufacturing processes, sustainable supply chain management, material substitution for sustainable products, regulatory compliance (including a database of materials used in existing weapons systems) for sustainable manufacturing, development of nanocrystalline metals, modeling and simulation for sustainable product design, management of societal sustainability for manufacturing. Equipment acquired for the projects will be combined and shared to establish a Laboratory for Sustainable Materials Performance and Life Prediction at University of Kentucky. The research and associated service projects will be conducted by University of Kentucky College of Engineering faculty and graduate students, led by senior faculty internationally recognized as pioneers in the field of sustainable manufacturing research, including members of UK’s Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing. Projects will solicit input and feedback from Kentucky industrial partners, beginning with a day-long workshop for interested parties, including relevant state agencies; Kentucky manufacturing firms will offer process data and testbed facilities to ensure research results are usable in actual manufacturing settings. Results of the research will be disseminated to small and medium-sized Kentucky manufacturing enterprises through a series of regional sustainable manufacturing workshops and industry short courses. The project will also answer a current national need by conducting a roadmapping/strategic planning exercise to chart the future course of sustainable manufacturing research.
Effective start/end date3/24/1112/31/12


  • Army: $722,582.00


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