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The Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Research Laboratory (SMSRL) was established in January 2011 in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The lab works on various aspects of sustainable manufacturing systems research including but not limited to joint production and energy system modeling and control, real-time energy management of manufacturing systems, electricity demand response of manufacturing systems,  electric vehicle battery manufacturing and reliability assessment, system-level cost evaluation for cellulosic biofuel manufacturing, and intelligent maintenance of manufacturing systems. The collaboration with University of Illinois Hospitals on healthcare system cost reduction and patient treatment improvement is another research direction.

The founding director of the laboratory is Dr. Lin Li. Dr. Lin Li received the B.E. degree in mechanical engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2001, and the M.S.E. degree in mechanical engineering, M.S.E. degree in industrial and operations engineering, Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering all from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2003, 2005 and 2007, respectively. Currently, he is an Associated Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in UIC. He is also the director of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Assessment Center at UIC.

Current sponsored research thrust is focused on four directions (1) energy efficiency management of manufacturing systems, (2) electricity demand response for manufacturing systems, (3) electric vehicle battery re-manufacturing and life cycle assessment, and (4) cost analysis of cellulosic biofuel manufacturing processes. The project sponsors include NSF, General Motors, Eaton Corporation, General Electric, etc.