The Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing (ISM) is a multidisciplinary collaborative unit whose primary objectives are to develop and advance sustainable manufacturing principles and practices in Kentucky, the nation and the world.



The ISM is a leading international organization committed to the development and deployment of sustainable manufacturing technologies for products, processes and systems for significantly enhancing the manufacturing productivity, efficiency and quality through its highly effective research, educational and outreach programs aimed at new technology and workforce development for next generation manufacturing.


The mission of the ISM is to actively pursue academic research (basic and applied) with the goal of producing new and innovative manufacturing technologies at product, process and systems levels, developing and implementing formal and professional development educational programs in sustainable manufacturing, and engaging in technology transfer/deployment and industry outreach for effective dissemination of the new knowledge generated.


Although the proposed ISM is a new framework to support multidisciplinary collaborative work, progress in sustainable manufacturing Research and Development at the University of Kentucky began well over 5 years ago, starting with a few pioneering researchers based in the UK Center for Manufacturing who were exploring sustainability topics on their own, gradually developing links to others for collaborative work, rapidly growing in size and complexity, and now organized in the present configuration, which brings together nine committed ISM faculty members and over 50 graduate students from three engineering departments (mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, and chemical and materials) who collaborate in research and educational projects across and beyond the College of Engineering; current university partners include the Gatton College of Business and Economics, School of Architecture, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Center for Applied Energy Research, Center for Aluminum Technology and Department of Mathematics. There are 16 faculty members from these units that collaborate with 9 ISM faculty.