Brian Thorn Headshot

Brian Thorn

Professor
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

585-475-6166
Office Location

Brian Thorn

Professor
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Education

BS, Rochester Institute of Technology; MS, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology

Bio

Dr. Brian Thorn completed a B.S. in Industrial Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, his M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering and his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Professor Thorn’s research focuses on the resolution of technical problems that have sustainability themes. Specific research application areas include sustainable product and process design, life cycle assessment, and applied statistical methods. He is a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW). Dr. Thorn is co-advisor of the ESW student chapter at RIT and oversees, along with Prof. Andres Carrano, the Sustainable Engineering Research Group (SERG), a group of graduate students with research interests in sustainability. He currently serves as the Director of Sustainable Engineering Graduate Programs in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Select Publications

Esterman Jr., M., Fumagalli, M. E., Thorn, B., Babbitt, C. (2012) A Framework for the Integration of System Engineering and Functional Analysis Techniques to the Goal and Scope of Life Cycle Assessment, Proceedings of IDETC ‘12: ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences, August 12-15, 2012, Chicago, IL, USA.

DeVierno, A., Thorn, B.K., Carrano, A.L., Esterman, M (2012). “Combining Life Cycle Assessment and Linear Regression Analysis to Determine Significant Design Characteristics”; Proceedings of IDETC ‘12: ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences, August 12-15, 2012, Chicago, IL, USA.

Sosa, M., Thorn, B.K., Carrano, A.L. “Environmental Impact Analysis of Remanufactured Wind Turbine”; poster session at The American Wind Energy Association for WINDPOWER 2012 conference; June, 2012; Atlanta, Georgia.

Kataria, H., Carrano, A., Thorn, B.K.(2012). Modeling of Tooling-Workpiece Interactions on Random Surfaces. Advances in Mechanical Engineering, vol. 2012, DOi:10.115/2012/807018.

Thorn, B.K., Brownell, S., Carrano, A.L. “Development and Delivery of ‘Engineering for the Developing World’, a course supporting the Masters programs in Sustainable Engineering at RIT”. International Conference of Education, Research, and Innovation. November 16, 2011. Madrid, Spain.

Mazeika, A., Carrano, A., Hewitt, M., Thorn, B. (2011). On the Environmental Impacts of Pallet Management Operations. Management Research Review. Vol. 34, Issue 11, pp. 1222-1236.

Thorn, B.K., Carrano, A.L. “Integration of Sustainable Engineering into the Industrial Engineering Curriculum”. International Conference of Education, Research, and Innovation. November 17, 2010. Madrid, Spain

585-475-6166

Areas of Expertise
Sustainable product and process design
Life cycle assessment
Applied statistical methods

Currently Teaching

ISEE-785
3 Credits
This is a high level survey course that reviews the product lifecycle from various perspectives and highlights the leverage over material, process, and environmental impacts available at the design phase. Tools and strategies for reducing the environmental impacts associated with the sourcing, manufacture, use, and retirement of products will be reviewed and evaluated.
ISEE-792
3 Credits
For the Master of Engineering programs in Industrial and Systems Engineering, Engineering Management, and Sustainable Engineering. Students must investigate a discipline-related topic in a field related to industrial and systems engineering, engineering management, or sustainable engineering. The general intent of the engineering capstone is to demonstrate the students' knowledge of the integrative aspects of a particular area. The capstone should draw upon skills and knowledge acquired in the program.
ISEE-786
3 Credits
This course introduces students to the challenges posed when trying to determine the total lifecycle impacts associated with a product or a process design. Various costing models and their inherent assumptions will be reviewed and critiqued. The inability of traditional costing models to account for important environmental and social externalities will be highlighted. The Lifecycle Assessment approach for quantifying environmental and social externalities will be reviewed and specific LCA techniques (Streamlined Lifecycle Assessment, SimaPro) will be covered.
ISEE-751
3 Credits
This course addresses decision making in the face of risk and uncertainty. Various methodologies will be introduced that are useful in describing and making decisions about risks, with particular emphasis on those associated with the design of products. Students will be exposed to issues related to balancing risks and benefits in situations involving human safety, product liability, environmental impact, and financial uncertainty. Presentations will be made of risk assessment studies, public decision processes, and methods for describing and making decisions about the societal risks associated with engineering projects. Topics include probabilistic risk assessment, cost-benefit analysis, reliability and hazard analysis, decision analysis, portfolio analysis, and project risk management.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Tornese, Fabiana, et al. "Investigating the Environmental and Economic Impact of Loading Conditions and Repositioning Strategies for Pallet Pooling Providers." Journal of Cleaner Production 172. (2018): 155-168. Print.
Tornese, Fabiana, et al. "Investigating the Environmental and Economic Impact of Loading Conditions and Repositioning Strategies for Pallet Pooling Providers." Journal of Cleaner Production 172. (2018): 155-168. Print.
Bayus, Jacob, Changfeng Ge, and Brian Thorn. "A Preliminary Environmental Assessment of Foil and Metallized Film Centered Laminates." Resources, Conservation and Recycling 115. (2016): 31-41. Web.
Tornese, Fabiana, et al. "Carbon Footprint Analysis of Pallet Remanufacturing." Journal of Cleaner Production 126. July (2016): 630-642. Web.
Carrano, Andres L., et al. "Characterizing the Carbon Footprint of Wood Pallet Logistics." Forest Products Journal 64. (2014): 232-241. Print.
Carrano, Andres L., et al. "Selection of Pallet Management Strategies Based on Carbon Emissions Impact." International Journal of Production Economics. November (2014): forthcoming. Print.
Carrano, Andres L, et al. "Selection of Pallet Management Strategies Based on Carbon Emissions Impact." International Journal of Production Economics 164. (2015): 258-270. Web.
Kataria, H, A Carrano, and BK Thorn. "Modeling of Tooling-Workpiece Interactions on Random Surfaces." Advances in Mechanical Engineering 2012. (2012): Doi:10.1155/2012/807018. Web.
Book Chapter
Gnoni, Maria Grazia, et al. "A Measurement Tool for Circular Economy Practices: a Case Study in Pallet Supply Chains." Progress in Material Handling Research. Ed. E. Ballot, et al. Savannah, Georgia: Digital Commons at Georgia Southern, 2018. 12. Web.
Tornese, Fabiana, et al. "Improving the Environmental Sustainability of Pallet Logistics Through Preemptive Remanufacturing: an Integer Linear Optimization Model." Progress in Material Handling Research. Ed. E. Ballot, et al. Savannah, Ga: Digital Commons at Georgia Southern, 2018. 2. Web.
Published Conference Proceedings
Deo, Devdatta, Marcos Esterman, and Brian K. Thorn. "A Methodology to Quantify Cumulative Damage Function (CuDF) for Integration Into an Object-Oriented Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)." Proceedings of the ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Ed. ASME. Cleveland, OH: ASME, 2017. Web.
Gadre, Shantanu, Marcos Esterman, and Brian K. Thorn. "Implementation of an Object-Oriented Life Cycle Assessment Framework Using Functional Analysis and Systems Engineering Principles." Proceedings of the ASME Proceedings | 22nd Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference. Ed. ASME. Cleveland, OH: ASME, 2017. Web.
Nenni, Nicholas, et al. "Comparative Life Cycle Economic and Environmental Analysis of Various End-of-life Strategies for Spent Coffee Grounds." Proceedings of the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Ed. H. Yang, Z. Kong, and M. D. Sarder. Anaheim, CA: n.p., Web.
Amoroso, Briana, et al. "Optimizing Air Conditioner Size Considering Thermostat usage Patterns." Proceedings of the 2016 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Ed. H. Yang, Z. Kong, and M. D. Sarder. Anaheim, CA: n.p., Web.
Thorn, Brian K. and Andres L. Carrano. "Development of a Sustainable Engineering Masters Program: The Path Ttaken and Lessons Learned." Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, Vancouver, Canada. June, 2015. Ed. Unknown. Vancouver, Canada: n.p., Web.
Bayus, Jacob and Brian K. Thorn. "Environmental Analysis of Aluminum-based High Barrier Flexible Packaging Alternatives." Proceedings of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Nashville, Tenn. May, 2015. Ed. S. Cetinkaya, J.K. Ryan. Nashville, Tenn: n.p., Web.
Warner, Mary and Brian K. Thorn. "Lifecycle Assessment of Four Common Road Deicers." Proceedings of the 2015 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Nashville, Tennessee. June, 2015. Ed. S. Cetinkaya, J.K. Ryan. Nashville, Tenn.: n.p., Web.
Cruz, Pedro, Brian K. Thorn, and Sarah A. Brownell. "A Life-Cycle Comparison of Selected Sanitation Alternatives for Developing Countries." Proceedings of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference, June, Montreal, Canada. Ed. Y. Guan and H. Liao. Montreal, Canada: n.p., Web.
Gebo, Kevin, Brian K. Thorn, and Steven Hart. "Financial and Environmental Comparison of Military Housing Options for Forward Operating Bases." Proceedings of the 2014 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Ed. Y. Guan and H. Liao. Montreal, Canada: n.p., Web.
Habbab, Mehad and Brian K. Thorn. "Environmental Comparison of Recycling Phosphorus Through Different Urine-Source Treatments." Proceedings of the 2014 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Ed. Y. Guan and H. Liao. Montreal, Canada: n.p., Web.
Tank, Eric and Brian K. Thorn. "Lifecycle Comparison of Post-Consumer Recycling Collection Systems in Academic Buildings." Proceedings of the 2014 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. Ed. Y. Guan and H. Liao. Montreal, Canada: n.p., Web.
Yanikara, Fatma, Michael E. Kuhl, and Brian K. Thorn. "Comparison of Reverse Logistics Network Configurations Using Simulation." Proceedings of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference, June, Montreal, Canada. Ed. Y. Guan and H. Liao. Montreal, Canada: n.p., Web.
Woltag, H., A. L. Carrano, and B. K. Thorn. "Estimation of the Cradle-to-grave CO2 Footprint of Wood Pallets Logistics Operations." Proceedings of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. May 18-22, 2013. Ed. Institute of Industrial Engineers. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Institute of Industrial Engineers, 2013. Print.
Esterman, M., et al. "Warranty Prediction During Product Development: Developing an Event Generation Engine." Proceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conferences. Ed. ASME. Portland, OR: ASME, 2013. Print.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Thorn, Brian K. and Sarah A. Brownell. "Social Sustainability of Sanitation Measures in Haiti and Methods of Measurement." RIT/Malmo University Joint Symposium. Rochester Institute of Technology. Rochester, NY. 2 Oct. 2013. Conference Presentation.
Carrano, Andres L. and Brian K. Thorn. "How to Calculate Carbon Footprints: A Wood Pallet Example." PROMAT Material Handling Show. Material Handling Institute. Chicago, ILL. 21 Jan. 2013. Conference Presentation.