Sustainable Engineering Assignment: Application Of Innovation
Prepare a report on sustainable engineering assignment on the application of innovation in sustainable future.
Sustainability is the key to the future of the modern world. A Sustainable future means that the working structure of the society of the future is infused with sustainable engineering elements like electric cars, renewable energy sources, organic farming, and etcetera. These elements are non-polluting, are self-replenishing, and inexhaustible. The push to a more green and sustainable society is encouraged by governments of various countries. Innovations in the sector are of utmost importance now as the scarcity of resources is found to be evidential and true according to various studies. In this report, various elements of a sustainable society is studied and discussed. A thorough discussion of the innovations that have been made in the field of sustainability engineering is done. It has been concluded that sustainable innovations are the key to a more self-sufficient, green, and non-destructive sustainable society.
The world has been running on combustible sources of energy since time immemorial and has been running well. The issues have started arising due to the concerning fact that the resources have been depleted at an alarming rate since the industrial era. The advent of the era of automobiles has further escalated the depletion process. Sustainability means an ecology that is well maintained with optimal use of non-conventional resources and minimal use of conventional sources from the perspective of a well-engineered society. The process of creating a sustainable society is a story that includes a lot of element that changes the lifestyle of people. Sustainable engineering provides a pathway to a better and sustainable future. It is the process of developing a scheme for a society that enables them to use energy and resources available optimally and sustainably. The exhaustible resources are to be used in such a way that the rate of use is controlled to not compromise the availability of it in the natural environment. Controlled usage is a very important step to safeguard resources for future generations to use. The common focuses of sustainability engineering are-Food, water, shelter, transportation, sanitation, health, waste management, energy sources, and storage, safeguarding the natural environment, ecosystem safety, and industrial regulation.
The sustainable development of any society depends on 3 major factors: uncertainty, complexity, and dynamism. Innovating is a very complex process as it is something new and does not allow for copied work. It is done through a deep understanding of the facts related to the subject of innovation. A plethora of interconnected factors needs to be solved to make a society sustainable. Sustainable innovations are dynamic because it is ever ready for change as the factors depending on creating a sustainable innovation, changes. The factors that sustain the integrity of this innovation are dynamic and are very adept to changes as the process of creating innovation advances. The evolution of the factors depends on the expected outcome of the innovation. These two character traits of the sustainable innovation process increase its unpredictability and uncertainty. To maintain a process flow a sustainability trajectory is developed at the initial stages of the development process. A sustainability trajectory is a path that the organizations follow that allows them to become more sustainable. Whether a project is radical or incremental, sustainable innovation focuses on products and systems. The process to start any innovations is conceptualizing the idea of it. Conceptualization is the process of creating a model of the idea thought of and defines pathways to build them in reality. Concepts show and encourage the viewers to understand and accept the idea that has been put forward.
Various challenges affect the development process of innovation. These challenges either provide a solid pathway to create a robust innovation or hinder the advancement of the project. These challenges include environmental and social factors. Innovations can be divided into 4 parts social, sustainable, traditional, and green. All of them focus on different parts of innovating in the environmental and social sectors.
3. Innovations in Sustainable Engineering
3.1Available Innovations for Sustainable Development
The idea of sustainability has been in the talks within the global forum for a long time. With newer innovations coming every year the road to a sustainable future is well paved. From electric cars to generating electricity from solar and wind power. As the technologies advance and demand for it grows the supply-demand chain enables the innovations to be mass-produced and hence makes it more affordable. And affordable innovation is successful innovation as it enables the larger population to buy and use this innovation. More use of innovation means more diffusion of innovation in society. Various innovations have been in the market that has been helping move the sustainability game forward. Some of the major and important innovation for the sustainability of society is discussed below:
3.1.1 Electric Vehicles
Electric cars have been the forefront of innovation for a sustainable future as it is the main element in the transportation industry. Companies like Tesla, Google, BMW, and many more such companies have been pushing innovation towards a greener transportation solution. The market is gaining momentum in creating innovative mobility solutions that useless to no external energy sources to function. The more and more set up of charging stations around the country of interest has facilitated the flow of electric vehicles into the market. According to (Wolf and Korzynietz, 2019), the deployment of smart charging solutions has been a major encourager for producing electric vehicles. The paper suggests that a higher development in the charging infrastructure can further boost the use of electric vehicles and hence reduce the carbon footprint.
3.1.2 RRR(3R) Waste Management
Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce waste management technique is the most effective technique used in the modern era to reduce the wastage of materials that can be reused. It is a motto used by active environmentalism that helps them reduce wastage, reuse recyclable non-biodegradable materials, and recycle materials that have not lost its integrity. The technique employs various methods to recycle non-biodegradable materials and repurpose them. Even though the 3R is just an idea various innovations have been made in the field based on the 3R idea. According to (Tortajada and Nambiar, 2019), water scarcity has been a major problem in many parts of the world and the 3R has helped reduce the shortage by a large amount. The paper discusses data from policymakers, media, and government data to figure out the technologies they use for tackling water shortage. Droughts, climate changes, and water scarcity have been a major problem as the wastage of it is easy, and conserving it needs effort and initial investments. The help of the government and policymaker’s potable water technologies have been made to help with the 3R use of water. Innovations like automatic rainwater harvesting and filtration process, life straw (a filter straw to drink water from anywhere), and etcetera have been the outcome of the 3R technique.
3.1.3 Smart Farming
Smart farming is the new age farming technique where IoT and digitization techniques are employed to make farming self-sustaining and efficient. Smart farming works by a collection of data, analysis of data using various analytical devices, and performing actions based on the analyzed data. The technique is being used in most countries especially after the advent of industry 4.0. According to (Klerkx, Jakku, and Labarthe, 2019), digitally enabled techniques in agriculture have exponentially helped in the growth of the sector. With minimal interference of humans in the process the efficiency of work has increased. Technologies like self-watering systems, self irrigation systems, AI farm monitoring, and connected devices technologies have shown a major increase in farm productivity.
Green buildings are buildings that have been planned in such a way that it utilizes the minimal or no amount of external energy source to power it. Green buildings also rely on the 3R to manage their wastes and reduce resource consumption. These buildings are an architectural playground and are designed in such a way that energy consumption is the least. From using LED lights to create structures that reflect light in the deeper parts of the buildings efficiently use limited light sources. These buildings use star rated electronic appliances, use smart devices to regulate these appliances, and provide monitoring of the power usages over the month. Water regulation, segregation of wet and dry wastes, central air-conditioning, and many more techniques are used in the building to reduce the use of resources. According to (Nykamp, 2017), green buildings in Norway has been possible due to the policymaker's aggregation of the issue. A solid government backup is a necessity in creating a green and self-sustaining infrastructure.
Non-Conventional Energy Sources
The use of non-conventional energy sources has been a major resolution to the problem of using exhaustible resources like petrol, coal, and etcetera. Alternative technologies have taken over the use of combustible energy sources and have started using alternative energy sources like wind and solar energy. The use of solar panels, wind and water turbines, geothermal energy technologies, and more have spiked the number of innovations possible in the field. With innovations that are targeted at sustainability, there is bound to be a rapid diffusion of the technologies in the general population. Nonconventional energy sources are abundant, inexhaustible, and have the potential to be a lifestyle changing technology. According to (Broto, 2017), the urban landscapes in Hong Kong, Maputo, and Bangalore have seen a multi-fold increase in the use of alternative energy sources. The shift to the use of technologies like rainwater harvesting, and solar lights and water heaters have enables these cities to reduce their energy bills to a staggeringly low amount.
Alternative Reality Projects
Alternative reality technologies like augmented and virtual reality have indirectly helped a lot in resource management and wastage. Alternative reality projects enable various project heads to simulate the use of materials, structures, and other resources before employing them in reality. The innovation has helped a lot in saving resources from the prototyping and testing phase of projects. According to (Dinis et al., 2017), presently use of the AR and VR technologies are game-centered but have the potential to shoot big in the civil engineering department. The paper suggests that AR and VR have been a helpful player in the simulation of models that are a proper representation of the real object. This helps create virtual representations of real objects and helps simulate conditions that can affect the real object in the real world.
Various limitations that can occur during the path to innovating more sustainable technologies for the future (Dhahri and Omri, 2018). Some of the limitations that can occur are as follows:
- Non-reliable government policies
- Scarcity of infrastructure
- Change deterrents like promotion of conventional energy sources
- Socio-economic conditions of the country
- Poor implementation strategies.
- Non-affordability of new technologies.
Sustainability is a major issue faced by governments all over the world. With issues like global warming and climate change the push towards a more green and sustainable society has become urgent. Various methods of implementing sustainability have been tried and tested and found that without the involvement of the government and policymakers the shift to a sustainable society is almost impossible. The shift also needs her participation of common people to make it an achievement. The future of a sustainable society is in encouraging innovation in reliable and sustainable engineering.
Broto, V. C. (2017) ‘Energy landscapes and urban trajectories towards sustainability’, Energy Policy, 108, pp. 755–764.
Dhahri, S. and Omri, A. (2018) ‘Entrepreneurship contribution to the three pillars of sustainable development: What does the evidence really say?’, World Development, 106, pp. 64–77.
Dinis, F. M. et al. (2017) ‘Virtual and augmented reality game-based applications to civil engineering education’, in 2017 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON). IEEE, pp. 1683–1688.
Klerkx, L., Jakku, E. and Labarthe, P. (2019) ‘A review of social science on digital agriculture, smart farming and agriculture 4.0: New contributions and a future research agenda’, NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 90, p. 100315.
Nykamp, H. (2017) ‘A transition to green buildings in Norway’, Environmental innovation and societal transitions, 24, pp. 83–93.
Tortajada, C. and Nambiar, S. (2019) ‘Communications on technological innovations: potable water reuse’, Water, 11(2), p. 251.
Wolf, S. and Korzynietz, R. (2019) ‘Innovation Needs for the Integration of Electric Vehicles into the Energy System’, World Electric Vehicle Journal, 10(4), p. 76.