Taking stock : sustainability in engineering teaching : case of CES EduPack -- software for teaching Vakhitova, T. V.; Shercliff, H .R.; Ashby, M. F.
The paper presents the results of a survey of academics about teaching sustainable development topics in engineering, design and materials science courses, with particular emphasis on materials aspects of the problem. Over 200 responses were analysed, complemented with the outcome of a multi-national workshop on the subject, and the main findings were summarised. Key findings were the need for well-documented case studies for project-based learning, and the need for a more global perspective in teaching this topic. A recently published ‘5-step methodology’ provides a framework for individual or group student work on a diverse range of problems: from substitution of sustainable materials into products, energy-using devices, to renewable energy and storage technologies. The diversity of potential case studies, and the breadth of knowledge that could be required to address the dominant issues in a given problem, presents a particular educational challenge to help students to navigate with confidence through a meaningful analysis. The paper discusses some refinements to the new methodology that could improve its rigour, and its ease-of-use by undergraduate or graduate students.
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