On December 14 in New York City, glass pioneer and educator Himanshu Jain will present on the impact of glass on sustainability and climate change goals at the United Nations as part of the UN International Year of Glass 2022 Debriefing Event. The event will highlight the role of glass in helping the UN achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.
Jain will present on the public use of glass in the regeneration of affordable clean energy, and disposal of toxic waste to an audience of U.N. representatives, international policymakers, industry leaders and the general public. He will also discuss how glass will continue to address emerging challenges in energy storage methods, such as batteries and supercapacitors. Other topics include the use of glass to ensure a sustainable biosphere when eutrophication, from the excessive leaching of fertilizer into soil, becomes a problem. Jain will also discuss how photobioreactors can help produce biofuels.
"Glass, one of the oldest man made materials, has helped mankind for millenia including many of today's cutting edge technologies,” says Jain. “However, I am most fascinated by its potential for addressing some of the emerging mega challenges that are already affecting our environment adversely, and will impact future sustainability across the globe.”
The event celebrates the UN’s designation of 2022 as International Year of Glass. Jain, T.L. Diamond Distinguished Chair Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, and the director of Institute for Functional Materials and Devices at Lehigh, co-organized the section on the impact of glass on addressing Sustainability and Climate Change challenges.
Jain is a leader in glass research, having served as the director of NSF’s International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass, which pioneered globalization of glass research and education and led to multiple international glass research centers in different countries. Over the past three decades he has focused on introducing new functionality and novel processing of glass, and making glass education available worldwide freely. Lately, he has been advocating for use-inspired research, and led the development of a new doctoral education model: Pasteur Partners PhD (P3) based on Industry-University partnerships. He is an author/editor of 12 patents, 10 books and over 400 research publications on glass science and technology.
Lehigh has a long history and partnership with the United Nations. In 2004, it became the sixth university in the world to gain Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with the UN. This designation has given the university rare access to the world’s largest intergovernmental organization. Each year more than 1,000 Lehigh faculty, staff and students attend UN conferences, high-level briefings and private meetings with ambassadors and other UN officials in New York City and on the Lehigh University campus.
“Engineers like Professor Jain are playing a pivotal role in deriving solutions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” says Bill Hunter, director, fellowship advising and UN programs at Lehigh. “It is important to share seminal research like his at the United Nations so it is heard and acted upon by those responsible for leading national and international sustainability agendas. It also further demonstrates how Lehigh can be both a partner and an asset to the UN."