My name is Sukrit Mishra. I’m from Bangkok, Thailand. I go to the Illinois Institute of Technology where I am an M.S. Environmental Management and Sustainability candidate.
What sustainability, energy, and community issues are important to you?
Sustainability, for me, encompasses various disciplines can be broken down as follows:
- Reducing a business’ carbon footprint without compromising its’ bottom line: With ever increasing environmental regulations, the onus is on companies to gradually transition to renewable and cleaner forms of energy while remaining profitable in the long run. In order to do so, manufacturers will have to consider more stringent abatement strategies (when it comes to Greenhouse gases) and whether such measures will be sustainable in the long run.
- Creating a sustainable circular economy via Industrial symbiosis and related measures: With urbanization occurring at record pace and consumer behavior showing no trends of abating anytime soon, large scale manufacturers are looking at ways to transition from a traditional linear economy to a more circular economy. This will require us to keep resources in use/circulation as long as possible and look at ways to reduce our waste and by-products within and at the end of the production line.
In the long run, the goal is to recover and regenerate products from these sources of waste and collaborate with other major players via industrial symbiosis. As impractical as this sounds at the present, we are working towards a future where
- Waste lines and by-products will be negligible in a supply chain
- The waste materials, for Producer A, can be utilized as a raw material for Producer B
- We will build a sustainable business model which will adhere to local environmental regulations, support the bottom line for the business, and leave little strain on landfills in neighboring communities
What exciting projects/research are you working on now?
I am currently working as an intern at The Plant on the southside of Chicago. For the uninitiated, The Plant’s mission is to bring the concept of “circular economies” into the mainstream and actively promote the concept of Sustainability from the grassroots level within neighborhoods up to the production lines their tenants work on every day. Over the past month or so, I have been conducting various quantitative analyses of raw materials which tenants receive at the plant, materials which are lost as by-products during the operations, and anything which is disposed at the end of the production line. Our objective is to compile as much relevant data as possible, determine areas where tenants can minimize their waste, and recommend areas for industrial symbiosis. I find this particularly interesting as someone’s waste can be a source of input or raw material for another tenant.
What are your plans for the next five years?
International Students do not have the luxury to plan a couple of months after graduation, let alone 5 years down the line. Under the current administration, I am taking things one month at a time! With graduation looming in December later this year, my goal is to take LEED exam next month and become a LEED Green Associate. If things go to plan, I intend to pursue a career with a firm which specializes in either Green Buildings or residential properties which incorporate the use of green utilities and technology. I am also open to a career with Non-Profits or firms which specialize in the advocacy of reducing Carbon footprints, provide consultancy to manufacturers concerning pollution control and abatement at an industrial level, and how to comply with local and federal regulations on various GHG emissions in the atmosphere. With a degree in STEM, the possibilities are endless and my involvement with SISE will take me one step closer to the goals provided above.
What made you want to apply to SISE?
Although the term Sustainability is now mainstream in social media and other walks of life, it remains a niche within the professional world opportunities remain limited for those pursuing a career in this field. SISE will provide me with an opportunity to collaborate, interact, and delve into issues with individuals who share similar values and passion when it comes to the environment, green energy, and community organizing. SISE also provides us with an opportunity to not only build upon and expand our network with individuals relevant to our field (i.e. Green Energy and Technology) but also reinforce our own understanding of how Green Energy will evolve in the years to follow and how residents in metropolitan areas are currently incorporating it into their daily lives. Dr.Ashton, who is a major part of the SMGT curriculum at Illinois Tech, brought this program to my attention and encouraged me to apply to SISE.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Chicago?
I have been here for almost 6 years now and have seen and done everything your average tourist can do in Chicago. Willis, Hancock, Navy Pier, Comiskey (we don’t talk about the other team), and any other touristy stuff has been covered at this point. Having spent the bulk of my time near Armor Square/Bridgeport however, the South Side remains an eyesore as its neighborhoods are struggling to retain long-time residents and are devoid of any major financial activities. Of the wide-ranging activities associated with Energy and Sustainability which we will be covering as a group in August, I most look forward to working with local residents in neighborhoods and regions which fit the description provided above. To be precise, I would like to ways to fill long-vacant blocks within these neighborhoods and create economic ventures and opportunities which will stand the test of time and remain a sustainable model in the years to come. Having seen the transformation, the West-Loop has undergone in recent years, there is no reason why similar trends cannot be replicated in other regions around Chicagoland.
Do you like Cats? If not, are you willing to learn to like cats?
I like cats, albeit from a safe distance. If it’s any consolation, I am not a big fan of dogs either! If anyone’s bringing a cat along, enlighten me on how they remain so indifferent to everything around them and maintain such a calm demeanor.