Skip to main content
Engineering 360°

The future of manufacturing

Students working in Thorsten Wuest's lab

Photos by Nesbit

Thorsten Wuest, J. Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, served as a member of the editorial board for the 2018 World Manufacturing Forum Report. The white paper, which was released in September, outlined the current state of manufacturing in numbers, societal megatrends and manufacturing challenges to discover what actions are needed in the journey of achieving the future-oriented development.

Thorsten Wuest

Wuest, who was responsible for identifying, recruiting and interviewing experts to gather the insights that shaped the report, said there were certain aspects of the report that piqued his interest. One dealt with changing perceptions toward over-extraction and scarcity of natural resources.

The report noted renewable energy, better industrial practices and technological developments in resources extraction as being key to becoming more efficient and yielding more product and less waste, as well as increasing the overall amount of economically and technically accessible resources.

Other key recommendations in the report are the need to strengthen and expand infrastructure to enable future-oriented manufacturing, design and production of socially oriented products, exploration of the real value of data-driven cognitive manufacturing and development of effective policies to support global business initiatives.