School of Continuing Education
Murali's Musings

Murali Vedula


Engineering Program Director
UWM School of
Continuing Education



Greetings fellow engineers,

I recently read a thought-provoking article in the current issue of Mechanical Engineering, the magazine of ASME, that I thought would be useful to share with you. It’s called “Compelled to be Green” - by Jeffrey Winters. In the article he says, “The matter of environmental sustainability continues to evoke sharply contrasting reactions among engineers.”

Winters goes on to describe results of an ASME member survey about general sustainability and sustainable technologies. More than 3,000 working engineers and 1,300 engineering students responded to the survey that was sent out in late 2009.

Below is a summary of responses to some key questions:
  • The top three factors that would influence their organizations use of green design practices and procedures are regulatory requirements, rising energy costs, and client demand.
  • The use of sustainable methods would be a priority only if they reduce the cost of new product development, or if they maintain or increase throughput and cut costs of existing products.
  • 13% of respondents (roughly 1 out of 10) said that more than half of their projects were based upon sustainable and/or green design principles. 23% of respondents said 11-50%, of their projects 29% said 1 to 10%, and the rest were 0 or indifferent.
This article really solidified my belief that sustainable and green design principles will drive innovation. The engineers who emerge as green and sustainable front-runners in the decade of the ’10s will be leaders of the future. What is your personal reaction? I invite you to share your thoughts with me. And if you haven’t given the topic much thought before, now is the perfect time!

Until next time,
Murali Vedula

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