Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing


Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing

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.
UK Academic Partners

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • Gatton College of Business & Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Center for Biomedical Engineering
  • Center for Applied Energy Research
  • Center for Aluminum Technology

Research Agencies


  • KSEF (Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation)
  • National Science Foundation
  • NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • US Airforce Research Laboratory
  • US Army
  • US Department of Education
  • Industry Partners
  • Air Products, Inc.
  • Boeing
  • Caterpillar
  • Ford
  • General Electric
  • General Motors
  • HAAS
  • IMTI (Integrated Manufacturing Technology)
  • Kennametal
  • Lexmark
  • Sandvik Coromant
  • SCRA
  • SECO
  • Semicon
  • Society of Community Research & Action
  • STELLRAM Cutting Tools
  • Toyota
International Partners

  • American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
  • ENSAM, Cluny, France
  • Polytechnic, Turin, Italy
  • Portuguese Catholic University, Lisbon, Portugal
  • University of Calabria, Calabria, Italy
  • Bari Polytechnic, Bari, Italy
  • University of Technology, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • University of Mondragon, Mondragon, Spain
  • University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway


  • Sustainable Materials
  • Sustainable Product Development
  • Sustainable Manufacturing Processes
  • Sustainable Manufacturing Systems
  • Society, Public Policy, and Regulations
  • Economic Models for Sustainable Manufacturing

In addition to scholarly articles and industry short courses, we also host an annual forum on new developments in sustainable manufacturing research and development.

We also are home to two international journals:

International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing International Journal of Sustainable Manufacturing Machining Science and Technology Machining Science and Technology
In addition to expanding our research collaborations across disciplines, we will be developing industry-university consortia in our research focus areas, and developing and implementing innovative curricula to educate and train the next generation workforce for sustainable manufacturing.
Sign up here to stay up to date on new developments at the ISM. We hope you will.  Sustainable manufacturing is an exciting and rapidly evolving field where new ideas and new technologies are urgently needed and we at the ISM plan to be in the forefront of the most interesting new discoveries.