• Innovation in Manufacturing Systems and Sustainability

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This course presents innovations in manufacturing systems and sustainability. Part I of the course provides an overview of the changing paradigms of manufacturing in the context of industrial/technical revolutions, and how the industrial internet of things will enable smart and personalized manufacturing. Part II of the course covers topics in sustainable manufacturing, including definitions and necessary conditions and their applications, life cycle assessment, eco-audit, and metrics for assessing manufacturing systems.


Learning Objectives


After completing this online course, you should be able to:

  • Understand importance of manufacturing and today's manufacturing environment

  • Learn past, present and emerging paradigms of manufacturing, including mass production and mass customization

  • Learn methods on product family design and approaches to product variety

  • Learn methods for manufacturing system configuration analysis

  • Synthesize principles of manufacturing systems

  • Learn definitions and necessary conditions for sustainable manufacturing

  • Learn about environmental areas of concern as they relate to manufacturing

  • Learn how to apply necessary conditions for sustainable manufacturing to additive manufacturing

  • Learn what life cycle assessment is and how it can be applied to manufacturing examples such as the use of lightweight materials

  • Learn what an eco-audit is and how to apply eco-audit to practical manufacturing examples.

  • Learn metrics useful in sustainability assessment of manufacturing systems

  • Learn about examples of life cycle assessment and eco-audit applied to sustainable manufacturing processes and systems



Bachelor's degree in a science, engineering, or technical field.




  • Part I: Innovation in Manufacturing - Introduction 
    (13 min)

  • Industrial Revolutions and Paradigms of Manufacturing
    (68 min)

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Big Data and Smart Manufacturing
    (18 min)

  • Personalized Manufacturing
    (13 min)

  • Summary
    (7 min)

  • Part II: Sustainable Manufacturing - Sustainability Introduction
    (30 min)

  • Carbon and Water Footprinting
    (44 min)

  • Methods for Life Cycle Material/Process Selection
    (32 min)

  • Sustainable Manufacturing Systems
    (37 min)



S. Jack Hu
S. Jack Hu
Vice President for Research, University of Michigan
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering
More about...
Steven Skerlos
Steven Skerlos
Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
More about...

Dr. S. Jack Hu has overall responsibility for nurturing the excellence and integrity of research across the entire campus as the Vice President for Research. He oversees the U-M Office of Research, which fosters interdisciplinary research, develops and implements research policy, provides central administrative services in support of faculty research, innovation, and economic outreach, and manages activities related to compliance and the responsible conduct of research. Before his current appointment, Dr. Hu served as the Interim Vice President for Research (2014-2015). Prior to that he was Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2009–2013) and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education (2007–2009), both in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Hus teaching and research interests include manufacturing systems design and operations, assembly modeling, and statistical quality methods. He is the recipient of various awards, including the SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, ASME William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award, the College of Engineering Research Excellence Award, and several best paper awards. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and a fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP). He served as the Editor in Chief of Journal of Manufacturing Systems from 2008 to 2013. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2015.

Dr. Hu received his B.S. from Tianjin University, China in 1983, M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1986 and 1990 respectively.



Dr. Steven Skerlos is Director of the U-M Program in Sustainable Engineering and Co-Director of the Engineering Sustainable Systems Program. He is Chairman of the Board and Founder of Fusion Coolant Systems. In 2015 he co-launched the Insitu Center for Socially Engaged Design. He has also served as Director of Sustainability Education Programs for the College of Engineering since 2012.

Dr. Skerlos has gained national recognition and press for his research and teaching in the fields of technology policy and sustainable design. He has co-founded two successful start-up companies (Accuri Cytometers and Fusion Coolant Systems), co-founded BLUElab, served as Director of the Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering (2009-2012), and served as associate and guest editor for four different academic journals.

Dr. Skerlos received his B.S. and Ph.D. from University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign in 1994 and 2000 respectively.