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A New Multidisciplinary Course in Sustainability using a Combination of Traditional Lecture and Self-Directed Study Modules

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Curriculum Development and Multidisciplinary Instruction

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.83.1 - 23.83.11



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Paper Authors


Jeffrey R Seay University of Kentucky

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Dr. Jeffrey R. Seay is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky, Paducah Extended Campus. Dr. Seay joined the University of Kentucky in 2008 following a 12 year career in the chemical industry. Dr. Seay completed his BS and PhD from Auburn University and his MS from the University of South Alabama, all in Chemical Engineering. His primary research area is process systems engineering focused on sustainability, green chemistry, biofuels and appropriate technology for underdeveloped regions.

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A New Multidisciplinary Course in Sustainability using a Combination of Traditional Lecture and Self-Directed Study ModulesNot only are energy and sustainability important topics in industry and in the public sector, theyare topics of interest to engineering students as well. As a result, it is important to findinnovative ways to incorporate energy and sustainability into the engineering curriculum for alldisciplines of engineering. This manuscript will describe the development and implementationof a new, multidisciplinary elective course in Concepts, Assessment Tools and Methods inSustainable Power and Energy at the [University Name]. This course utilizes a combination oftraditional lecture and self-directed study modules to deliver course content to students in avariety of engineering disciplines. Additionally, the use of an interactive television connectionto allow students at the [University Name] main campus in [City Name], the [University Name]Extended Campus in [City Name], and off campus graduate students enrolled in the course toattend lecture and participate in classroom discussions will be described.Thermodynamics is the common language of most engineers. In this multidisciplinary course insustainability, maintaining a focus on thermodynamics ensures a common basis for the course.Furthermore, all manufacturing processes utilize power and energy in some way. This focusmakes the course relevant to each engineering discipline. Sustainability includes the triplebottom line of environment, economy and society, so this course seeks to bring a globalperspective to the fundamental issues in sustainable power and energy generation.This new course is included as part of the Power and Energy Certificate program at the[University Name]. The Power and Energy Certificate is an add-on to graduate or undergraduatedegrees in engineering. This multidisciplinary course presents an overview of the key topics insustainability and environmental impact assessment for engineers. This manuscript will alsopresent some of the challenges of developing a multidisciplinary course in sustainability, due tothe fact that each engineering discipline approach the topic from a slightly different perspective,and the academic backgrounds are different in each discipline as well.Finally, in addition to the course topics and content, this contribution will include the results of aPre- and Post- Course assessment of the student’s attitudes and perceived knowledge with regardto sustainability, as well as their personal assessment of the novel course structure and deliveryformat.

Seay, J. R. (2013, June), A New Multidisciplinary Course in Sustainability using a Combination of Traditional Lecture and Self-Directed Study Modules Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19097

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