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AREC holds a Power Hour once a month, where we discuss recent academic and industrial research that encourages cooperation to achieve resource usage efficiency across all industries. On Oct 13th (12-1 pm), our Speaker: Dr. Nehika Mathur from the Systems Integration Division at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will present her work titled:

NIST’s Efforts at Advancing a Manufacturing Circular Economy


Mass manufacturing and our ability to produce goods quickly and efficiently via a linear economy has led to rapidly depleting natural resources and a host of environmental problems. The National Institute of Standards & Technologies (NIST) supports the nation’s transition from a conventional ‘take, make, use, dispose’ linear economy to a ‘take, make, use, return’ circular economy (CE) via research in measurement science that facilitates the development of suitable technical standards. Technical standards are vital to promote interoperability and trade between nations by providing a common language that can help evaluate systems thus ensuring that technology functions safely and seamlessly. In the context of manufactured products, it has been observed, that although there exist standards that specify quality and performance of a product, there is a lack of standards associated with the product end-of-use (EoU) phase. This limits the degree of product recovery and therefore, the default EoU treatment for many product groups remains incineration and/or landfilling resulting in loss of valuable resources. Preserving these resources will require not just technological interventions that are EoU-specific (e.g., recycle, remanufacture, reuse), but also a systems-level understanding that effectively leverages the interactions between multiple stakeholders (e.g., manufacturers, consumers, recyclers, regional governments) to create closed-loop systems to develop secondary material feedstocks and identify new economic opportunities. This presentation will provide an overview of NIST’s measurement science research efforts (rooted in industrial ecology, complex systems science, and operations research) at closing material loops to enable a manufacturing CE. Further, NIST’s recent contributions to the International Standards Organization (ISO) Technical Committee 323 on Circular Economy Standards will also be discussed.

More information about the presenter and topic can be found on the attached flyer.