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LCDM Research Themes

Sustainable manufacturing & resource efficient manufacturing

  • Manufaturing process modelling & DT-Based simulation
  • Life Cycle Assessment based process optimization
  • Circular production systems

Decision-Support Systems for Engineering Design

  • Streamlined indicators and ideation-support tools in conceptual and early product design 
  • Visualization & analytics tools for product lifecycle information
  • Data-driven process modeling for sustainable manufacturing

Circularity & sustainability assessment of complex product systems

  • Environmental sustainability assessment of renwable-energy powered desalination systems
  • Multi-criteria decision-making & technology assessment for sustainable development goals 
  • Incorporating user behavior into design of energy using products

Sustainable design & manufacturing learning

  • Rapid design exploration and prototyping tools for experiential learning
  • Integrating sustainable product design into undergraduate education 

Research & Development Projects

  • MuCircMag: Multi-Scale Circularity Assessment for Permanent Magnet Motors Supporting Green Transition, Innovation Fund Denmark, Industrial Postdoc. Grant, 2021-2024 (PI)
  • Realizing Circular Production via Physics-Based Lifecycle Modeling & Simulation, AUFF Associate Professor Starting Grant 2021-2024 (PI)
  • Sustainability-Focused Manufacturing Process Optimization Via Digital Twins, AU DIGIT Center Early Career Grant 2021-2022 (PI)
  • CircThread: Building the Digital Thread for Circular Economy Product, Resource & Service Management, EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation -- Horizon 2020, 2021-2025 (co-PI)
  • Ecodesign tools for data-driven sustainable production of circulation pumps., Innovation Fund Denmark, Industrial Postdoc. Grant, 2021-2023 (PI)
  • Sustainability-Focused, Experiential, Entrepreneurship Education in Engineering @ Aarhus University, Fonden for Entreprenørskab, 2020-2022 (PI)
  • Environmental Sustainability Based Process Optimization of Rare-Earth Permanent-Magnet Rotor Production, Industrial PhD Grant, Grundfos, 2020--2023 (PI)
  • Digitalizing Classic Machinery for Industry 4.0, Smart Industry--Industrial Development Program, European Regional Development Fund, 2018--2021 (PI)
  • IT-Augmented Learning Modules for Integrating Sustainability Education Into Engineering, Aarhus University EDU-IT Program, 2020--2022 (PI)
  • Partnership Driven Innovation for Developing Markets in East Africa, European Regional Development Fund, 2020--2021 (PI)
  • Traceability for Circularity; EIT Climate-KIC, 2019--2020 (co-PI)
  • Industry-Academic Collaboration Workshop on Advanced Manufacturing, AUFF, 2019--2020 (PI)

Selected Projects

Digitalizing Classic Machinery for Industry 4.0

Integrating digital technologies into manufacturing (Industry 4.0) is a vital necessity for Danish SMEs to remain competitive in today’s market.  A significant hurdle for SMEs in leveraging Industry 4.0 is the high capital cost of replacing functioning classic machinery (i.e., manually controlled machine tools) with newer digital counterparts. This project aims at addressing this challenge by augmenting classic machinery with existing, low-cost, off-the-shelf, microcontrollers & sensors for aiding data-driven design & production decision-making.

Industry and Research Collaborators

  • Danish Advanced Manufacturing Research Center
  • Niebuhr Gears
  • Bast  & Co
  • Reeft
  • Micro Technic

Innovation support tools for sustainable production

This project focuses on creating computer-supported innovation and creativity tools for aiding sustainable product/process re-design in the manufacturing industry. As a first step, we are conducting interview-based studies that will benchmark existing innovation practices prevalent in industries, including management-led initiatives and bottom-up innovation for sustainability.

Industry and Research Collaborators

  • Department of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University
  • Department of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University
  • Grundfos

Key Publications

  • Engelking, K. E. (2019). Innovation Management Strategies for Sustainable Production Technologies (Master's thesis). Aarhus University, Denmark

Digital tools for environmentally responsible use and consumption

The life cycle environmental impact for many products is largely dictated by their use phase resource consumption. However, there is limited information available from these stages to guide product and process design. This project focuses and addressing this gap through  digital tools that , (1) enable understanding users’ consumption and disposal practices, and (2) inform users about contextual best practices from a sustainability perspective.

Industry and Research Collaborators

  • Department of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University

Key Publications

  • Pagels K., Rasmussen, M., & Ramanujan, D., (2019, August). Addressing Information Gaps In Household Waste Sorting Using A Mobile Application. To appear in ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.
  • Engelking K., Irie, K., Thorup R., & Ramanujan, D., (2019, August). Exploring Situational Factors And Attitudes Affecting Sustainable Electric Kettle Usage. To appear in ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.

Visual Analytics Tools for Sustainable Design & Manufacturing

This project focuses on creating visual analytics tools sustainable design & manufacturing that combine the abilities of computer-based tools to gather, process, and summarize data along with the ability of human-experts to guide analyses through domain knowledge and data-driven insight.

Industry and Research Collaborators

  • TATA Innovation Labs, USA
  • Purdue University, USA
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA

Key Publications

  • Ramanujan, D., Bernstein, W. Z., Totorikaguena, M. A., Ilvig, C. F., & Ørskov, K. B. (2019). Generating Contextual Design for Environment Principles in Sustainable Manufacturing Using Visual Analytics. Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, 141(2), 021016.
  • Ramanujan, D., Bernstein, W. Z., Chandrasegaran, S. K., & Ramani, K. (2017). Visual analytics tools for sustainable lifecycle design: Current status, challenges, and future opportunities. Journal of Mechanical Design, 139(11), 111415

Integrating Sustainability Education in Mechanical Engineering Curricula

Instruction approaches based on design critique, guided discovery, and experiential learning for incorporating sustainability assessment into graduate and undergraduate engineering courses.

Industry and Research Collaborators

  • Purdue University, USA
  • University of California – Irvine, USA

Key Publications

  • Ramanujan, D., Zhou, N., & Ramani, K. (2019). Integrating environmental sustainability in undergraduate mechanical engineering courses using guided discovery instruction. Journal of cleaner production, 207, 190-203.
  • Ramanujan, D., Chandrasegaran, S., Zhou, N., & Ramani, K. (2018, August). Students’ Exploration Strategies in a Sustainability-Focused Structural Optimization Task. In ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (pp. V007T06A054-V007T06A05