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

Sustainability thinking in engineering education : data-intensive research, computational sustainability and multidisciplinary research Shoolestani, Amir; Shoolestani, Behzad


Most universities, and in fact most organizations and government agencies are committed to sustainable development. Sustainability in higher education is also mainstream in the scientific arena with a need for forward looking on how to infuse sustainability across disciplines. Education for sustainable development aims at fostering social, political, economic and ecological issues pertaining sustainable development. The aim of this paper is twofold. The first objective is to introduce Sustainability Thinking as a dedicated program in engineering education for sustainable development, comprising of Data Intensive Research, Computational Sustainability, and Multidisciplinary Research. The second objective is to urge the engineering education community to move towards multidisciplinary research to bear on the pressing global challenges. The paper further expounds on the role of "Big Data" and advanced analytics in engineering research and explores the concepts behind Computational Sustainability: Data Analytics for Sustainability, Computational Thinking, and Systems Thinking. The paper also discusses the role that multidisciplinary research plays in achieving Systems Thinking and finding solutions to many complex sustainability problems. It is further argued that making a paradigm shift in sustainability pedagogy requires a shift in cultures within disciplines of computer science and engineering.

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