This post was written by ISTC staff member Kirsten Walker.
The International Sustainable Electronics Competition staff would like to welcome Craig Boswell, Co-Founder and President of HOBI International, Inc. to the 2013 competition jury. HOBI International is an IT and cellular asset management and electronics recycling company. Craig plays a key role in developing HOBI’s processes and procedures for data security, asset tracking and asset disposition services. He is HOBI’s chief industry consultant on demanufacturing, design for disassembly, and reverse logistics programs. He has also published and presented numerous papers on the recycling of electronic products and the keys to designing more recyclable products.
According to their website, “HOBI’s Mobile Device services group focuses on the resale and recycling of cellular assets. Their client list includes 3 of the 4 national wireless operators in the US, 4 major device OEMs, and many recycling partners that trust us to maximize the value of their cellular assets while protecting sensitive corporate or client data. They process for resale and recycling over 4 million cell phones per year. Their parts recovery division de-manufactures millions of cell phones per year in support of a robust repair market.”
Craig’s background includes nine years experience as an electrical engineer for Texas Instruments, Inc. As a member of Texas Instrument’s engineering staff, he managed electronics design projects and was extensively involved in development and deployment of electronics manufacturing techniques. He was also project manager for the deployment of a major shift in the production process from traditional CFC-based cleaning technologies to more environmentally friendly, no-clean solder technologies. As part of this program team, he was an active member of the IEEE Environmental Technologies subcommittee. This committee was central in developing an industry conference that brought together OEMs, academia, and environmental organizations to discuss key issues in electronics disposition technologies.
Craig is thus well qualified to assess entries for this competition, because he has approached electronics from different ends of the life cycle spectrum–both on the design and manufacturing side and the end-of-life management side. In fact, Craig presented a seminar at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center last fall called Closing the Loop on Electronics Devices–Design for Recycling, in which he spoke about how his experiences in his current role have allowed him to look back at his experiences as part of design projects and realize that some of the design choices he and colleagues made actually made recycling more difficult. Recycling is sometimes simply not a part of the consideration of engineers and/or industrial designers creating a product. Through efforts like the International Sustainable Electronics Competition, SEI is hoping to ensure that students who may one day work for electronics manufacturers go into those situations with sustainability issues like design for recycling already in mind.
Craig and his colleagues at HOBI International have made it their business to understand design issues related to electronics and curb the issue of electronics waste in a way that is profitable. His expertise and feedback will be valuable and we appreciate the time Craig is donating to the 2013 International Sustainable Electronics Competition.