Industry Market Trends

Will the Laws of Physics Prevent Manufacturers from Improving Energy Efficiency?

April 8, 2013

The manufacturing sector is doing a great job improving energy efficiency, said a group of researchers from MIT and other institutions in a recent study. There's just one problem, the authors cautioned: The laws of thermodynamics are going to make progress on individual materials increasingly difficult and eventually impossible. MIT mechanical engineering professor Timothy G. Gutowski and colleagues analyzed the energy requirements of making steel, cement, paper, plastics, and aluminum, the five materials “that dominate energy used in material production.” What would it take, they asked, to double production of these materials between now and 2050, while cutting in half the energy required to make them -- in other words, a 75-percent reduction in energy intensity? This goal would be in line with economists' projections that global demand for materials will double by 2050, as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) recommendation of a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by that time. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Leadership Q&A Series: Nicole Smith, Georgetown University

April 8, 2013

ThomasNet, publisher of IMT Career Journal, on April 1 launched the ThomasNet North American Manufacturing Scholarship program to actively help the manufacturing sector close the STEM skills gap, providing up to 30 scholarships of $1,000 each to high-achieving students pursue their dreams in engineering, skilled trades, and supply chain management/business operations. Students have until July 1 to apply. In conjunction with the new scholarship from ThomasNet, IMT Career Journal's Leadership Q&A Series speaks with leaders in both academia and industry about pertinent issues affecting STEM education and workforce development. Here, we sought Nicole Smith, a research professor and senior economist at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), for her insights into STEM education and careers. Read More