ASME and Autodesk Survey Shows Mechanical Engineers Increasingly Focused on Sustainable Design

NEW YORK and SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Concerns Center on Curbing Energy Use, Reducing Emissions and Compliance

NEW YORK and SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The first annual sustainable design-trend watch survey jointly commissioned by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) found that two-thirds of respondents have worked on designing sustainable products.

The survey of ASME members is the first research conducted to understand the factors and impacts of sustainable design on mechanical engineers and their manufacturing businesses in industries including automotive and transportation, industrial machinery, consumer products and energy.

Sustainable engineering refers to the design and manufacture of an ever-increasing volume of goods and services while using the earth's resources more efficiently and producing less waste.

A key trend highlighted by the survey is that more than half of the practicing engineers responding reported they expect to increase their use of sustainable design practices in the next year. Primary design concerns focused on using less energy, reducing emissions and complying with environmental and regulatory standards.

Additionally, a separate survey of ASME student members found that half of the respondents have encountered sustainable design practices in their studies and are extremely interested in green and sustainable information and causes.

"Engineers have to understand the impact of their decisions on built and natural systems," said ASME Executive Director Thomas G. Loughlin. "They must be skillful at collaborating closely with colleagues in an increasingly interdisciplinary work environment to meet efficiency and resources goals impacting our only Earth."

"ASME is committed to being a strong player in the important discussion among engineers, legislators, and industry -- including suppliers like Autodesk -- to ensure that everyone is pointing in the same direction when it comes to sustainable engineering practices," Loughlin added.

"A few years ago our industry may have not been as focused on sustainable design, but these results confirm that designing with sustainability in mind is now a primary aim of mechanical engineers," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. "Autodesk is pleased to join with ASME to highlight the importance of making smarter, more sustainable design decisions. This underscores our continued commitment to providing engineers with the Digital Prototyping tools required to understand the environmental impacts of a new product."

Mechanical Engineering Priorities Trending Toward Renewable Materials

Along with creating designs that use less energy, reduce emissions and comply with regulatory standards, respondents also indicated that design priorities include using renewable, recyclable and recycled materials, reducing material waste in manufacturing and improving manufacturing processes to use fewer resources.

However, cost is a major consideration when deciding to factor sustainability into developing a new product, according to the survey. One-third of the professional engineer respondents indicated that they would consider sustainable technologies for new products only if they are cost-competitive.

Survey Methodology and Demographics

The online survey of 50,000 ASME professionals and 18,000 ASME student members was conducted over a two-week period in December 2008. The questionnaire covered 16 questions and generated nearly 3,500 respondents in the U.S. Approximately 60 percent of the practicing engineers responding to the survey have careers spanning more than 20 years, with more than 25 percent focusing on the design and development of products, systems or equipment. Nearly 20 percent of the respondents work in the energy and power industry, and more than 10 percent, respectively, work in professional services and in manufacturing fields.

For more information on the ASME/Autodesk Sustainability Survey, visit

Autodesk and Sustainable Design

As a leading provider of design innovation software to architects, designers and engineers around the world, the single most important contribution Autodesk makes to sustainability is to provide its customers with the very best design and engineering software -- enabling smarter, more sustainable design decisions.

The same Autodesk Digital Prototyping software that manufacturers use to design, visualize, and simulate their ideas can also enable customers to innovate in sustainable ways, such as saving energy and optimizing material use. Digital Prototyping helps manufacturers optimize materials use, decrease or eliminate waste, make sustainable materials choices, optimize energy use, and address a growing number of product-related environmental regulations and voluntary standards worldwide. To learn more about Autodesk commitment to sustainable design, please visit

About ASME

Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization promoting the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied fields. ASME develops codes and standards that enhance public safety, and provides lifelong learning and technical exchange opportunities benefiting the global engineering and technology community.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design software for the manufacturing, construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk has developed the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art Digital Prototyping solutions to help customers experience their ideas before they are real. Fortune 1000 companies rely on Autodesk for the tools to visualize, simulate and analyze real-world performance early in the design process to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

(C) 2009 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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