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Doctors of Sustainability

Jan. 11, 2008
RIT offers PH.D program in sustainability.

The sweeping energy bill signed into law by President Bush on Dec. 19, 2007, is likely the tip of the iceberg for manufacturers. With more regulatory action imminent, the creation of the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) doctorate program in sustainability couldn't have come at a better time. The school, called the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, is scheduled to begin enrollment in the fall of 2008. The building is named after Paychex founder and Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano, who donated $10 million to the program.

Golisano's investment will fund new development and academic programs for one of the world's first doctorate programs in sustainable production, according to a university statement. The program will also explore ways to reduce waste in the manufacturing process, says program director Nabil Nasr, who currently serves as assistant provost and director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies.

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(Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

"Here at RIT, we have focused on projects that reduce the use of hazardous materials in production, expand the quality and implementation of remanufacturing processes, and have worked to design production systems that are completely closed loop with no waste product and feature the complete reuse of all materials," notes Nasr. "Through our partnerships with industry, government, nongovernmental agencies and other universities, we will seek to develop new technologies and processes that will assist in implementing sustainable processes in industry while also disseminating knowledge, education and training in the field."
An RIT student tests alternative cleaning methods aimed at reducing hazardous chemicals usage in industrial production. Similar studies will be a part of RIT's new sustainability program.The day after Bush signed the energy bill, RIT named Ryne Raffaelle the Golisano Institute's academic director. Raffaelle, who will report to Nasr, is a professor of physics and microsystems engineering and director of the NanoPower Research labs at RIT.

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