This book provides engineers with the necessary information to design sustainable processes, products and value chains. It describes the current consensus on sustainable development for four context levels: Planet, Society, Business, and Engineers. It also presents all required design steps: from problem definition, via synthesis of potential solutions, analysis of solutions, improvements to the final solution evaluation. For each design step, methods and guidelines are provided in relation to the goal of obtaining a sustainable solution; a solution that meets both the needs of people and all specific context constraints with regard to the planet and prosperity.

Key Features

    • Provides information on the current consensus on sustainable development for four context levels: Planet, Society, Business and Engineers
    • Offers guidelines for analyzing problems and identifying the best solution for each problem as applicable to a specific situation
    • Provides clear design procedures for implementation of a particular solution
    • Helps engineers to come up with profitable designs which meet environmental constraints
    • Presents the information that engineers need to meet energy, water, food, health, and other basic human needs


    Engineering students in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, aerospace engineering, industrial engineering, and product engineering

    Table of Contents



    About the Authors

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Role of Engineers

    Exploring Sustainability

    Overview of Making a Sustainable Design

    Chapter 2. Setting up a Design Assignment

    Challenges for a Sustainable Design

    Design Process as Team work

    Setting Goal and Scope

    Sustainability Constraints

    Chapter 3. Structuring the Sustainability Context

    Background of Context Levels

    Context Level Planet

    Context Level Society

    Context Level Business

    Context Level Engineers

    Chapter 4. Creating Design Solutions

    Design Synthesis

    Preliminary Solutions Assessment

    Quick Scan Life Cycle Assessment

    Evaluation of the Design

    Chapter 5. Acquiring Sustainable Design Competences

    Teaching Sustainable Development

    Sustainability Complexity Transferred into Design Competences

    Hints on Acquiring Key Competences




    No. of pages:
    © 2012
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the authors

    Jan Harmsen

    Jan Harmsen is currently the Director of Harmsen Consultancy B.V., Leonardo da Vinci Chair Sustainable Chemical Technology at the University of Groningen, and Chairman of the Dutch Process Technology Association (NPT). From 1996 to 2010 he was the Principal Process Developer, Shell Technology Center Amsterdam. Recently he pubished the books: Jan Harmsen, Industrial Process Scale-up: A practical innovation guide from idea to commercial implementation, Elsevier, (2013), ISBN 9780444627261. Gerald Jonker and Jan Harmsen, Engineering for Sustainability. A practical guide for sustainable design, Elsevier, (2012), ISBN 9780444538468.