Materials Selection and Sustainability


In today’s world, and in view of the growing strains imposed on the possibility of harmonious development, Sustainability constitutes a major global concern.

Sustainable Development requires dealing with varied but complementary issues, ranging from an efficient and conservative use of available resources, through environmental concerns and regulatory restraints, to social and intergenerational equity.

Given mankind’s growing reliance on complex products, which increasingly demand access to scarce and highly coveted critical raw materials and energy, proper management of resources has become a central challenge of all engineering activities.

Careful selection of materials, through adequate systematic procedures which duly take into account the criticality of the solutions envisaged for each engineering problem, constitutes a powerful tool towards the fulfilment of the principles of so-called Circular Economy of materials, which places a large emphasis on reuse and recycling of engineering products. As such, Materials Selection embodies a Materials Engineer’s major contribution to Sustainable Development.

This course starts by giving the student an understanding of the global issues involved in Sustainable Development, before providing them with the tools for adequate Materials Selection, progressing through a series of increasingly complex case studies.