The 16th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing (GCSM) was held successfully from October 2 – 4, 2018 at the Convention Center in Lexington, KY. The conference was jointly organized and hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing (ISM) at the University of Kentucky, Technical University of Berlin IWF, and Fraunhofer IPK. The theme of GCSM 2018 was ‘Sustainable Manufacturing for Global Circular Economy’.
The 16th GCSM brought together more than 160 attendees from 28 countries providing a truly global forum of academics, researchers, and specialists from international universities, research institutes and industry working on topics related to sustainable manufacturing. The conference began with a welcome reception on October 1st held at the Hilton Downtown in Lexington, KY. University of Kentucky President Dr. Eli Capilouto ceremonially opened the conference on October 2, 2018 warmly welcoming all attendees. Prof. I.S. Jawahir the Chair of GCSM 2018 and Director, Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing also welcomed the attendees providing an overview of the history and evolution of the GCSM conference series. The opening events of the conference was moderated by Prof. Fazleena Badurdeen, Co-chair for GCSM 2018.
Prof. G. Seliger (Founder of the GCSM conference series) delivered the opening keynote presentation. The conference featured twelve keynote speakers and two luncheon speakers who shared recent advances in cutting-edge research and industry practices; these prominent and internationally recognized experts elaborated how sustainable manufacturing technologies in the product, process and system domains can enable a Circular Economy. Thirty-six technical sessions were held over the three days with themes ranging from sustainable products, sustainable manufacturing processes, sustainable manufacturing systems, and crosscutting themes such as innovation, education and workforce development.
A unique feature of the GCSM conference series is its integration of industrial engineering perspectives, sustainable manufacturing applications in emerging and developing countries, and emphasis on education and workforce development for sustainable manufacturing. Several new features were included in GCSM 2018 to further this mission. One such item was a panel discussion with Manufacturing USA Institute directors on the first day of the conference. The panel, moderated Prof. Gunther Seliger (Technical University of Berlin, Germany) and Dr. Dean Bartles (President, National Tooling and Machining Association), discussed the opportunities presented by the different institutes to promote more research in sustainable manufacturing and for technology transfer to industry. Another unique feature of GCSM 2018 was a special industry session, organized for the first time in the conference history, to enhance better collaboration between academics engaged in sustainable manufacturing research and industry practitioners. The industry session was also held on the first day of GCSM 2018 and started with an industry keynote presentation and an industry panel that discussed opportunities and challenges to implementing sustainable manufacturing practices. The panel was followed by case studies and success stories by select companies who are industry leaders in sustainable manufacturing. The industry session provided an excellent opportunity for more dialogue on further research necessary and the importance of technology transfer to really enable Circular Economy through sustainable manufacturing.
The conference banquet, sponsored by Lexmark International Inc., was held on October 3, 2018 at the Kentucky Horse Park. The conference attendees had the opportunity to tour the International Museum of the Horse and meet and greet a few horses in the park. The banquet dinner was held in the Big Barn where attendees were able to also enjoy an evening with regional music courtesy of a live Bluegrass band. Transport was provided for all attendees to travel to and back from the conference banquet.
In addition to the main events, GCSM 2018 also included several pre-conference and post-conference activities. A pre-conference workshop on “Introduction to Sustainable Manufacturing: Recent Trends, Metrics and Methodologies for Evaluation” was organized by the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing on October 1, 2018 and held at the University of Kentucky Student Center. Several conference attendees registered and participated in this workshop. Tours of the Sustainable Machining Research Laboratory, Electron Microscopy Center (EMC), and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CeNSE) were also organized for October 1st and was attended by a number of GCSM participants who were interested in learning more about the cutting-edge research capabilities and infrastructure available at the University of Kentucky. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in several industrial plant tours held after the conference. They included the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) plant in Georgetown, Infiltrator Water Technologies in Winchester and Novelis Inc. in Berea.