The researchers have united behind the Global Traineeship in Sustainable Electronics program, which will run for five years. By joining forces and involving the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, they hope to ‘create materials that will allow computer components to be disassembled, recycled and reused,’ says Purdue’s Professor Carol Handwerker.
Developing nano-composites made of natural materials for structural applications in casings and circuit boards is the group’s main mission. ‘Being naturally derived and plentiful, these materials may offer an opportunity for low-cost, non-fossil-fuel-derived materials for high-performance structural applications,’ she notes.
The ‘targeted workforce’ will include engineers, scientists, economists, anthropologists, managers and political scientists as people from all of these disciplines are needed ‘to address the complex set of issues related to sustainable electronics’, says Professor Handwerker.