Opportunities and challenges to find sustainable alternatives
by Rafiqul Gani
In a world with an increasing population and finite natural resources that are not uniformly distributed, the need for ever more innovative engineering to solve the problems and produce new and better products with a negligible environmental impact has become urgent. The resources, in addition to being location dependent, are also technology dependent for their utilization. Therefore, urgent action to tackle the challenges through sustainable alternatives is necessary. Chemical engineering and related disciplines need to accept the opportunity by delivering solutions and preparing society to tackle future disasters and pandemics as well as to sustain the development of society. However, as improvements in orders of magnitude are needed in technologies currently employed in the conversion of resources to products needed to sustain society, it is questionable if the currently available methods and associated tools are able to obtain them. The presentation will highlight the challenges and the opportunities to tackle them through a new class of systematic methods and tools, where integration of ideas-disciplines, hybrid model-data analytics, design techniques based on the ‘define-targets and match-targets” paradigm, and a systematic multi-scale analysis-solution approach play important roles.