“I strongly believe that good leaders and pioneers are not only found seated on political office seats, as like that good engineers are not only found seated on manufacturing plants”.
The government is not the sole body responsible for effective positive changes in our society and this is impossible. The engineering field is like an ocean which doesn’t have ending.
Having all this in mind that I would personally like to find the various roles and functions of an engineer in creating and transforming the society. I hope this would contribute not only to a personal understanding but to an argument of my peers that as we graduate from engineering.
This report is going to discuss the Engineer’s role in maintaining sustainability in the various fields of engineering. “Sustainability” is the term refers to maintaining at a certain rate or level. Maintaining sustainability in engineering contexts is important. Sustainable engineering a powerful, yet abstract, concept to be discussed.
Increase in population cause the demand for goods to be increased. So supply increased as a result production increased and finally the dramatic change paved the way for the birth of “Industrial revolution” by 18th century. This lead to the mass level of production in industries so because of this the utilization of natural resources has been increased.
So as engineers it is essential to know the techniques to maintain the balanced level in the environment as well as not degrading the resources to be used by the future generation as well.
I am going to further discuss my ideas through the topics such as product, process, design, entrepreneurship and innovation in various means. The terminology “green engineering” is going to be discussed under the topic practicals and implications
Design and entrepreneurship
Design means planning and creating an outfit for a product, process or company design comes in all sections of engineering. While designing the factors such as durability, profit, efficiency and, aesthetically impressive should be considered. For a sustainable design for a product the design concept must fulfil following aspects such as using limited natural non-renewable energy sources, using maximum renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy, wastage management and reusability
For a sustainable design for a product or production process design for minimizing waste plays a main role for that we consider fallowing factors
I. Using non-toxic and recycled raw materials (eg- using old papers in paper industry this can be seen in paper factory in valaichchenai)
II. Energy efficiency ( using renewable energy sources for producing electricity needed for production)
III. Durable design
IV. Eco friendly
VI. Final product can be recycled
We can manage wastage by designing the industries according to use their by-products in other industries for example using the bittern solution to extract calcium and magnesium (bittern is the waste product from salt industry which is famous in coastal areas in SriLanka such as puttalam , kankasanthuri) , using the fish and meat waste from fish canning industry and meat industry to make fish food , using the waste from garments to make pillows , dolls and decorative items.
If we think about designing a place or building or company it should be designed eco-friendly and to use maximum amount of renewable energy sources by keeping small wind mills and designing and making it as a decorative part of the place or building and fixing solar panels in rooftops and using transparent glasses to windows and making maximum amount of windows to light the building with free of charge and to minimize electricity usage
Commonly owners does not consider in producing sustainable product they only consider about profit so engineers should try to change the attitude of owners and to make a clear vision about sustainability and engineers should try to take the role of entrepreneur who contains the thought of producing sustainable product.
Product and process
Product means the thing that fulfils human needs and wants. Commonly in SriLanka products are produced in profit minded mentality where product are unsustainable, less eco-friendly and less energy efficient. For sustainable development engineers should produce products which have following qualities
? Increase economic activity
? Can access by all economic class people(social equalities)
Engineers should try the following thinks to make sustainable development successfully
I. Production method should be changed (eg- in salt industry SriLanka use traditional methods to produce iodised salt. To remove the MgCl the salt is heaped near salter where MgCl change in to liquid form by absorbing moisture where it is released in to soil and water bodies which effect human and animals due to excess amount of Mg ion in body which enter through food chain)
II. Change the type and amount of resources used for product(eg- using synthetic fibre and making Researches to use Nano technology in garment industry which help to Produce sustainable clothes and fabric
III. Minimizing the factors needed for process such as
• Reducing water usage(eg-large amount of water in salt industry to clean salt extracted from saltern so we can use pressured air to clean dust from salt or reusing the water for other needs )
• Using renewable energy sources(eg-large amount of electricity is needed in garment industry so we can use wind mills and solar panels to produce electricity through which we can decrease the cost of production by which we can make the product to access by all kind of people
IV. Using technologies in production and product
By using technologies we can make the work faster, cheaper and it increase safety. In the modern world where technology plays an important role so by using technologies in the product we make it sustainable as it increase product efficiency, quality and facility.
Using technology in production minimize the size of the product , increase safety of workers , decrease the production time and increase product quality.(eg-using technologies in fishing industry increase fishermen safety and increase catch and using technology in garment industry help to make the cloths neat and perfect )