LIFELONG LEARNING METHODOLOGY TO ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABILITY IN CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDIES
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETS de Ingenieros de Caminos Canales y Puertos (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Civil engineering plays an essential role in the advancement of society. Progress in knowledge of infrastructure technology must be supported by reliable, sustainable, resilient and quality infrastructures, including regional and cross border infrastructure, to support economic development and human wellbeing, with a particular focus on affordable and equitable access for all, as it is stablished in target 9.1 of Goal 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, Civil Engineering projects are usually characterized by causing a strong impact on the environment, due to the high consumption of raw materials, emissions, waste production and impact on the biodiversity of the land occupied by them. This makes it necessary for civil engineering projects, in all phases of the life cycle, to adopt the term sustainability in its broadest definition. That is, taking into account the three pillars of sustainability, economic, social and environmental, as well as the interrelationships between them.
Therefore, the academic training of future Civil Engineers must be coherent and oriented to ensure that the projects they develop in their professional life are governed by the principles of sustainability. One of the most important challenges that the university has currently when training professionals is to incorporate the sustainability principles. This means including sustainability concepts in the contents of engineering curricula in all areas of knowledge.
A fact that should be noted is that graduates in the area of Civil Engineering increasingly demand knowledge in the field of sustainability in infrastructures. That is why universities are betting on quality research and innovation in new construction materials, construction systems and development of evaluation methodologies that guarantee greater sustainability within the area of Civil Engineering. At this regard, the creation of computer supports is a great opportunity for the university to transfer its knowledge to companies and society.
In this sense, in the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, a group of professors proposed and developed a project of educational innovation within the calls of University, in order to promote LifeLong Learning (LLL) that includes all learning activities in a person's educational trajectory with the aim of increasing knowledge and improving personal, civic, social and employability competences.
The general objective of this LLL project was to create a dissemination space to deepen the principles of sustainability in infrastructures. In this way, the LLL project also contributes to the target 4.7 of Goal 4, promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all through education for sustainable development.
As a result of the LLL project, a website was developed, using the collaborative work methodology determining the role of each of the agents involved, in which graduates in Civil Engineering and other professionals interested in the sustainability of infrastructures can find the latest news, training in this field and interact with other professionals through the tools provided by new technologies.
Keywords: Civil Engineering, Sustainability, SDG 9, SDG 4, LifeLong learning, collaborative learning.