Stewart School of ISyE Advisory Board Meeting Addresses Energy Issues

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The Stewart School of ISyE hosted its biannual Advisory Board meeting in October. Presided over by Stewart School Chair Chelsea C. White, III and Advisory Board Chair Christopher B. Lofgren, the Board discussed ISyE's ongoing and emerging strategy for its work in the fields of energy and sustainability.

"Our goal is to be the preeminent academic program of its kind in the world and to have an impact beyond the academic community by addressing important societal and economic challenges,* said White. "The Stewart School of ISyE is working to make a positive impact in how people think about and use the planet's raw materials and is looking to further strategize on how we can be of assistance in moving toward a more sustainable society.*

Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor, who has dedicated her research and many of her class projects to creating a more environmentally friendly world, introduced the Board to ISyE's draft energy strategy and presented an overview of faculty and student research in this area. After discussing ISyE's work in areas such as energy modeling, supply chain management, and energy and carbon markets, she opened the discussion to gain feedback on how ISyE could increase its efforts in energy and sustainability through the combined contribution of faculty, students, sponsors, and partners.

Ray Anderson, IE 1956, founder and chairman of Interface, Inc., the world's largest producer of commercial floor coverings and interior finishes, provided more insight on the importance of working toward a more efficient and sustainable world. Anderson is a world leader in energy consumption reforms. He addressed the ISyE Advisory Board, describing Interface, Inc.'s "Mission Zero.* The goal of Mission Zero is to eliminate any negative impact Interface, Inc. may have on the environment by the year 2020 through the redesign of processes and products, the pioneering of new technologies, and efforts to reduce or eliminate waste and harmful emissions while increasing the use of renewable materials and sources of energy. A lofty goal, to be sure, but one that is already 50% accomplished. For more information on Anderson's thought-provoking quest to move toward becoming a better steward of the environment, read his memoir: Mid-Course Correction: Toward A Sustainable Enterprise: The Interface Model.

Director of Development Nancy Sandlin gave an update on the Stewart School's progress towards its $50M fundraising goal and stressed the importance of securing faculty and student support for important areas such as Energy, Humanitarian Relief Logistics, Health Systems, and more.

Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies Chen Zhou apprised the board of the recent visit by ABET.


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