As a materials person, do you feel left behind by the boom of all things “e” in the last 20 years? If so, don’t despair. As a member of the glass and ceramic community, you are part of an old and necessary profession. For example, while vacationing in the historic Jamestown-Colonial Williamsburg area of Virginia this past summer, I was amazed and pleased to learn that some of the first entrepreneurial ventures attempted in English North America involved the making of glass and brick.
After instructing an U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hr Industrial Safety course at the 2016 Ceramics Expo in Cleveland, Ohio, I was invited by Edgar Lara-Curzio of Oak Ridge National Laboratory to participate in the “Best Practices in Academic Laboratory Safety” symposium at the 2017 Material Science & Technology (MS&T) meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa.
When most people think about sustainability in manufacturing, they think “green”—as in using less energy per unit of output, using materials that are more environmentally friendly, generating less waste, etc. These are all worthy components of sustainable manufacturing, aimed at reducing the consumption of limited resources so that our businesses can continue to grow today and prosper tomorrow.
Product development is a process that has applications beyond just the production of goods. While we traditionally think of product development in association with something tangible, the process can equally be applied to software, service industries, and even to government.