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The University Magazine

New doctoral degree is first to focus on sustainable production

RIT has received New York state approval for a doctoral degree in sustainability offered through RIT's Golisano Institute of Sustainability. The new program is the first of its kind anywhere and seeks to advance research and education in alternative energy development, sustainable design, green product development, industrial ecology and pollution prevention.

"The Golisano Institute for Sustainability is dedicated to developing and implementing technologies that enhance environmental quality while also promoting economic efficiency and productivity," notes Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute. "The creation of this doctoral degree will allow us to take the next step in developing research, technologies and education that make the twin goals of economic competitiveness and environmental quality a reality."

The new degree program is designed to produce graduates who can be sustainability "change agents" throughout industry, academia, government and other sectors. Students will develop skills in such diverse areas as environmentally conscious product design and manufacturing, life cycle analysis, environmental science and sustainable business enterprises.

RIT plans to admit students into the program immediately and is also recruiting additional faculty and research associates. The development of the program was made possible through an initial grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was founded in 2007 as the result of a $10 million gift from B. Thomas Golisano, founder and chairman of Paychex Inc. and an RIT trustee.

The center has received additional funding from the Chester & Dorris Carlson Charitable Fund, Xerox Corp, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. RIT is now developing plans for the construction of a new facility that will house the Golisano Institute and Ph.D. program.

The new program joins five other RIT doctoral programs: imaging science (1988), microsystems engineering (2002), computing and information sciences (2005), color science (2007), and astrophysics (2008).

Will Dube

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