Posted 15 March 2005Sustainable development is using resources in a way that does not compromise the needs of future generations. The aim is to balance the environment with the social and economic aspirations of mankind. When applied to artefacts it encompasses their design, production, packaging, transportation and disposal i.e. the complete life cycle. There will always be a need to use machinery in food production but its design needs to take into account not only the materials and processes that are need to build it, but also how it will be maintained and disposed of at the end of its working life. The countryside is changing. There is a need to protect and improve the environment whilst allowing agricultural businesses to be economically viable. Farmers need to create sustainable farming systems through the adoption of integrated farming techniques and the production of energy crops which are sources of raw material for bio-diesel and combined heat and power (CHP) units. Farmers can also provide timber for the construction industry and raw materials used to produce bio-composites for the automotive industry. Harper Adams is the UK’s largest single provider of higher education for the rural and land based industries and professions. The Institution of Agricultural Engineers is holding their annual one day conference at Harper Adams on Wednesday the 9th March 2005. The theme of the conference is “Sustainability in Engineering Design”. For further, please contact: Tel: 01525 861096, Fax: 02525 861660, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or book on-line at the website www.iagre.org. David R White CEng, CEnv, MIAgrE, MIMechE Senior Lecturer in Engineering, Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire.