RIT Researcher Serves on International Environmental Panel

Gabrielle Gaustad chosen by National Science Foundation to serve on G8 panel

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The National Science Foundation has tapped Rochester Institute of Technology for a spot on an international panel that aims to help manufacturers worldwide become more sustainable.

Gabrielle Gaustad, professor in RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, was recently nominated by the National Science Foundation to serve on the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research program called “Interdisciplinary Program on Material Efficiency — A First Step Toward Sustainable Manufacturing.”

The program will fund research aimed at reducing the environmental impacts of materials production and processing, particularly for materials related to energy production and storage. Gaustad was one of two U.S. representatives chosen by the National Science Foundation to serve on the panel.

“I was honored to be nominated for this panel and particularly excited to travel to Tokyo for the two review sessions,” Gaustad says. “Working with material science and manufacturing experts from around the world was a unique networking opportunity.”

The panel was created through a pilot collaboration involving the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Canadian National Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche, the German Deutsche Forschungs gemeinschaft, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the United Kingdom Research Councils. On a competitive basis, it will support collaborative research projects that are comprised of researchers from at least three of the partner countries.

The international panel of experts, of which Gaustad is a member, jointly reviews proposals. Support for U.S.-based researchers will be provided through awards made by the National Science Foundation.

The call for proposals aims to support collaborations between experts in research areas related to the global challenge of materials efficiency to address one or more of seven potential strategies for reducing material demand: longer-lasting products, modularization and remanufacturing, component re-uses and recycle, designing products with less material, rethinking products and their use, redesigning the manufacturing processes and replacement of scarce and expensive elements, notably those critical for energy applications.