International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) (7th : 2015)

Injecting sustainability into engineering design projects Osgood, Libby; Peters, Wayne; Champion, Stephen


Ideal engineering graduates are able to think critically, produce solutions that satisfy multiple stakeholders, protect the interest of the public, and assess their ethical, social, economic, and environmental obligations, based upon their knowledge of engineering principles. Project-based learning is an appropriate forum for students to develop these skills while focused on authentic design problems. In structuring an effective learning environment, intentional effort must be made by educators in all program areas—ranging from the choice of client to the information requested in the final report—to highlight students’ greater responsibility within society. The decisions that an educator makes to the framework, deliverables, and exercises for a design project impact the degree to which students will engage in higher level decision making. This paper will discuss the strategies that have been employed in the first and second year projects that encourage students to use higher-level thinking and will introduce how sustainability will be an integral focus of the new Sustainable Design Engineering degree.

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