Sustainability Education: Approaches for Incorporating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum

TitleSustainability Education: Approaches for Incorporating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsAurandt, JL, Butler, EC
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Date Published2011
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsENGINEERING , ENVIRONMENTAL , sustainable , undergraduate
AbstractThe objectives of this study were to describe two approaches to incorporating sustainability into the undergraduate engineering curricula and to list a variety of existing course resources that can easily be adopted or adapted by science and engineering faculty for this purpose. The two approaches described are (1) redesigning existing courses through development of new curricular materials that still meet the objectives of the original course and (2) developing upper division elective courses that address specific topics related to sustainability, such as manufacturing or life-cycle assessment, in depth. Case studies of three courses—Green Industrial Organic Chemistry, Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing (Kettering University), and Sustainable Engineering (University of Oklahoma)—are presented. Assessment results from Green Industrial Organic Chemistry indicate that alternative curricular materials incorporating green chemistry can be used to meet the learning objectives of more traditional courses in organic chemistry, which are already required for many engineering majors. Environmentally Conscious Design and Manufacturing assessment data indicate that students increased their knowledge and application of industrial ecology topics as a result of taking the course. Preliminary assessment data from Sustainable Engineering indicate that students applied concepts of global resource reserves, sustainable growth and development, design for environment, and life-cycle assessment in their course work or employment approximately 1 year after finishing the course. Read More: