The 1995 Volvo/MIT Award for Environmental Research has been presented to Assistant Professor David Wallace of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
This is the fourth annual award under a program funded by Volvo North America Corp. The program supports research focused on understanding fundamental obstacles to improving the environment.
Professor Wallace is involved in a long-term project to create tools that can help product designers make rapid life-cycle decisions. His research team views the current interest in environmental design as part of a trend toward system-oriented product design.
"Products will be designed as part of a larger anthropological and ecological system," he said. "The entire development supply chain, ranging from the procurement of raw materials to global industrial relationships, will be considered as part of the product-design process. Clearly, this system-oriented approach will require highly integrated methods for product design. Designers must comprehend and evaluate design problems over a complete product life cycle, from material extraction through manufacture and assembly, to use and obsolescence."
Professor Wallace will use the Volvo support to add a master's level student to his research team, said Provost Joel Moses, who announced the selection of Professor Wallace as the 1995 Volvo awardee.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 4, 1995.