Energy and Environment Undergraduate Course Emphasizing Comparative Metrics

TitleEnergy and Environment Undergraduate Course Emphasizing Comparative Metrics
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsCohan, DS
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice
Date Published2011
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number10523928
Keywordscomparative , Curricula , education , energy , ENGINEERING , ENVIRONMENTAL , SUSTAINABILITY , sustainable , UNDERGRADUATES
AbstractThis paper presents the pedagogical development of an undergraduate course in energy and the environment at Rice University and the crucial role of comparative metrics in its curriculum. The course, aimed at undergraduate engineering and science majors, overviews the physical principles that constrain energy use and explores how various sectors and fuels affect Earth's environment and climate. The curriculum emphasizes the application of objective metrics for comparing the cost, energy intensity, and environmental impacts of various energy sources. Such metrics provide alternate approaches for assessing the relative merits of energy options but are neglected in most undergraduate textbooks. Thus, the course relies on assignments derived from supplemental readings to prompt students to compute comparative metrics and critically assess the approaches taken by energy researchers. 
NotesCohan, Daniel S. 1; Affiliation: 1: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice Univ., 6100 Main St., MS 519, Houston, TX. E-mail:; Source Info: Apr2011, Vol. 137 Issue 2, p64; Subject Term: CURRICULA (Courses of study); Subject Term: ENVIRONMENTAL impact analysis; Subject Term: UNDERGRADUATES; Subject Term: EDUCATION; Subject Term: SUSTAINABLE development -- Study & teaching; Subject Term: COMPARATIVE method; Author-Supplied Keyword: Curricula; Author-Supplied Keyword: Energy; Author-Supplied Keyword: Engineering education; Author-Supplied Keyword: Environmental issues; Author-Supplied Keyword: Sustainability; NAICS/Industry Codes: 926110 Administration of General Economic Programs; Number of Pages: 5p; Illustrations: 2 Charts; Document Type: Article