Energy Efficiency in Industry: High-tech Glass Manufacturing at Corning Inc. (2016-2017)


Increasingly there is a view that energy efficiency is not just a technical problem, but also a management problem with public policy implications. This does not dismiss the myriad technology challenges and new ideas that lie on the horizon to advance the efficient use of energy, but rather reflects the fact that many cost-effective energy-saving technologies remain unimplemented, even in firms with a profit motive to do so, and that energy use has broad environmental implications that relate to social and public policy needs.

Project Description

Corning Inc., an energy-intensive, high-tech glass manufacturing company with global operations as well as four manufacturing plants within two hours of Durham, will mentor this project team on various energy technology and management issues that Corning faces. Corning’s North Carolina locations include the world's largest fiber optics plant and the world’s largest fiber cable plant, both of which the team will be visiting.

The team will begin by working with mentors from Corning’s fiber optics plant in Wilmington, NC, to 1) analyze energy efficiency and management issues; 2) conduct data validation; 3) perform a “deeper dive” into process-level data; and 4) develop analytics using company- and plant-specific data.

The goal is to create a set of reports, analyses and tools provided to the company on energy efficiency issues and solutions generated by brainstorming sessions within the individual company teams.

Anticipated Outcomes

Reports, analyses and tools on energy efficiency issues and solutions

Related Courses

ENVIRON 330/711. Energy and the Environment
CEE 160L. Introduction to Environmental Engineering and Science
ENRGYENV 898. Energy, Markets and Innovation
ECON 325S. Economic Analysis of Current Energy Issues


Fall 2016 – Spring 2017

Team Outcomes to Date

What Is the Most Energy Efficient and Economic Solution to Ensure the Integrity of Corning’s Manufacturing Plants in the Event of an Electrical Outage? (Ziad El Arab, Kristen Collar, Ajay Desai, Zi Huang, Tracy Lu, Eunji Oh, Hui Pan, Anahita Sehgal, Mengyi Zhou, Gale Boyd, Josiah Knight)

This Team in the News

Students Present Their Research and Learn from Each Other at the Bass Connections Showcase

Bass Connections Poster Awards Highlight Neurosurgery and Energy Research

See earlier related team, Energy Efficiency in Industry: Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (2014-2015).


Faculty/Staff Team Members

Gale Boyd, Duke Social Science Research Institute*
Josiah Knight, Pratt School - Mechanical Engineering & Material Sciences*

Graduate Team Members

Kristen Collar, PhD in Physics
Andreas Kreitschmann, Pratt - Master of Engineering Management
Eunji Oh, Nicholas School - Master of Environmental Manageme
Hui Pan, Master of Environmental Management
Cihang Yuan, Master of Public Policy, Environment, Energy
Mengyi Zhou, Master of Environmental Management

Undergraduate Team Members

Ajay Desai, Economics (AB), Mathematics (AB2)
Ziad El Arab, Mechanical Engineering
Zi Huang, Mechanical Engineering, Political Science (AB2)
Tracy Lu, Mechanical Engineering

* denotes team leader