About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7253-7259
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

INFUSING SUSTAINABILITY INTO ENGINEERING EDUCATION

K. Stevens, T. Van Epps, A. Agarwal, G. Hamza Lup, J. Hardman

Florida Atlantic University (UNITED STATES)
There is significant evidence that the ‘next wave of innovation’ and the ‘next industrial revolution’ will be driven by the emerging need for simultaneous productivity improvement while achieving sustainable development. Sustainable development refers to adopting a holistic approach to development that sustains and improves economic, social and environmental wellbeing without any major trade-offs in any aspect at any time. Therefore, dealing with sustainability requires the ability for engineers to think creatively about complex dynamic systems by incorporating environmental, economic and social perspectives simultaneously.

Today’s technological advances empower us to effect major planetary changes much faster than we can perceive, comprehend and control the effects of these changes on the environment and social wellbeing. Therefore, future engineering decisions should not be made independently of the surrounding natural and human-made systems. A more complete, integrated system-oriented approach to engineering is needed, one that will allow us to analyze and understand the interactions between engineered and non-engineered systems along with their non-technical aspects. The traditional engineering approach fails to address sustainable development by focusing mostly on the technical and economic aspects of implementing a solution, without considering any long-term social and environmental impacts.

There is a need for a new educational approach that emphasizes more of a systems approach to engineering solutions that goes beyond technical issues. Therefore, to addresses these expanding requirements of the engineering profession, the education of engineers needs to be broadened and enriched to expose students to the all aspects (environmental, economic, and social) of sustainability, so that they can fully understand and apply the principles of sustainable development. To address this need, the Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University, in collaboration with the College Executive Advisory Council, has taken the initiative to design a new program, the Innovation Leadership Honors Program. As a result of this program, sustainability principles will be infused in all engineering fields through two new courses: "Sustainability Leadership for Engineers" and "Economics of Sustainable and Regenerative Engineering".

"Sustainability Leadership for Engineers" will provide an understanding of the developmental experiences undergone by successful leaders of sustainability, and of the strategies they have found to be most effective in moving their organizations towards greater degrees of sustainability. It will discuss the development of products, processes and systems that meet technical objectives while protecting human health and welfare, and elevate the protection of the biosphere as a criterion in an engineering solution. "Economics of Sustainable and Regenerative Engineering" will expose students to economic concepts and theories for analyzing sustainable development. Students will learn about causes and potential solutions to environmental and social degradation, roles of the business, government and nonprofit sectors in fostering sustainability, and how technological innovation, economics, the natural environment, and our social institutions and wellbeing are irrevocably linked. The paper will discuss the rationale and content of these courses and their impact on the engineering education.
@InProceedings{STEVENS2009INF,
author = {Stevens, K. and Van Epps, T. and Agarwal, A. and Hamza Lup, G. and Hardman, J.},
title = {INFUSING SUSTAINABILITY INTO ENGINEERING EDUCATION},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {7253-7259}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Stevens AU - T. Van Epps AU - A. Agarwal AU - G. Hamza Lup AU - J. Hardman
TI - INFUSING SUSTAINABILITY INTO ENGINEERING EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 7253
EP - 7259
ER -
K. Stevens, T. Van Epps, A. Agarwal, G. Hamza Lup, J. Hardman (2009) INFUSING SUSTAINABILITY INTO ENGINEERING EDUCATION, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 7253-7259.
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