Attendees of the Advances in Production Management Systems (APMS) 2013 International Conference were treated to a sustainability tour of Penn State that highlighted education, research and service in the areas of power generation, solar power, recycling, composting and manufacturing.
The first stop of the tour was to one of Penn State’s power plants used generate electricity for the university. Fuelled by natural gas (or diesel) the plant has a combined heat and electricity generation for high efficiency and a cleaner environment. It includes water treatment processes such as softening and reverse osmosis.
Next up was a trip to the Morningstar Solar Home (photo above) built by Penn State students for the Solar Decathalon national competition. The home serves as a teaching and research facility dedicated to renewable energy systems and energy efficient technologies.
The third stop was to Penn State’s Recycling Center. About 64 percent, or 9,853 tons per year of solid waste from campus are diverted from landfills and processed at the university’s recycling center. In addition, composting is done on a 13-acre site using organic waste from campus cafeterias, hotels and animal farms. It is then used for landscaping and maintaining the athletic fields.
Lastly, the tour concluded at the Factory for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) Lab in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Here the attendees were briefed on two current research projects focused on energy-aware manufacturing and research in green sand aimed at making metal casting processes environmentally friendly and sustainable.
The APMS conference, held last week at the Penn Stater, is an annual conference and the official conference of the International Federation for Information Processing. The theme of this year’s conference was Sustainable Production and Service Supply Chains and chaired by Vittal Prabhu, professor of industrial engineering. This is the first time in eight years the conference has been held in the U.S. and has previously been held in Poland, Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, Norway and Greece.