• Innovation in Manufacturing Systems and Sustainability

Icon - Car Body

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
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering
Steven Skerlos
Steven Skerlos
Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. S. Jack Hu was named Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Georgia (UGA) in 2019. In this role, he oversees the instruction, research, public service and outreach, and information technology at UGA.

Prior to his appointment at UGA, Hu was Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan, where he oversaw a research enterprise that generates annual expenditures exceeding $1.5 billion and spans the university?s campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint. As Vice President for Research, he promoted interdisciplinary research, developed and implemented research policy, provided central administrative services in support of faculty research, innovation, and economic outreach, and managed activities related to research compliance and the responsible conduct of research. He previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education in the U-M College of Engineering.

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.