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An Interdisciplinary Master's of Sustainability Program

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Methods, Techniques, and New Programs in Graduate Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.172.1 - 25.172.9



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Paper Authors


Roobik Gharabagi Saint Louis University

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Roobik Gharabagi is Associate Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of semiconductor devices, analog and digital electronics, and sustainability. Research interests are in the areas of small geometry semiconductor devices, device modeling and simulation, renewable energy, and undergraduate education.

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Huliyar S. Mallikarjuna Saint Louis University

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H. S. Mallikarjuna is presently an the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Parks College of Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Mo. He obtained his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering with distinction in 1980 from Bangalore University and taught briefly at UVCE College, Bangalore University during 1980-1981. He pursued higher education enrolling in graduate school at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Penn., in 1982 obtaining his master's degree in electrical engineering specializing in power systems in 1984. He continued his graduate education at University of Pittsburgh for his Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He obtained his doctoral degree in 1989 in the area of Image processing/filtering. His current research interests are in power systems, sustainability engineering, and engineering education.

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David E. Webb Saint Louis University

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David Webb joined Saint Louis University in 2010 as a Graduate Assistant and student in the inaugural class of the master's of sustainability degree program. Almost one year later, he accepted a full-time position with the Center for Sustainability as Program Manager, where he directs academic program development and oversees student relations and marketing and communication efforts. Prior to joining the Center for Sustainability, Webb spent nearly 14 years working in the field of information technology. He started his career as a Management Consultant with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in their Business Intelligence division and later worked as independent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) consultant. He has designed, developed, and supported custom database solutions for companies of all sizes, from individual business owners to global enterprises. His work has exposed him to numerous industries, including finance, real estate, entertainment, telecommunications, transportation, health care, and higher education to name a few. Webb holds a bachelor's of science in business administration and a bachelor's of arts in Spanish from Saint Louis University. He will complete his master's of sustainability degree in the spring of 2012.

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A Multidisciplinary Master of Sustainability ProgramABSTRACT: A center for sustainability was established in the fall of 2009. As part of the center amultidisciplinary two years cross disciplinary Master of Sustainability program integratesknowledge on sustainable business practices, effective public policy and innovative design andengineering approaches. The rigorous course work and field training offered will enable ourgraduates to confront sustainability related issues with a systems approach to solutiondevelopment.The common first year starts with foundational core courses that cover general sustainabilitytopics across the degree's integrated disciplines: Business, Engineering/Technology, PublicPolicy/Social Work, and Environmental Sciences. Beginning in their second year, candidateshave the option to build a custom curriculum that supports a broad sustainability practitionercareer path (sustainability generalist) or a specific discipline-oriented focus (sustainability careertrack). The second year concludes with a field experience designed to immerse the candidateinto a practitioner role inside an organization or group that connects to their respective disciplineor area of interest. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for the Saint Louis University’sMaster of Sustainability.The required core courses taken during the first year enable a sharing of background andexperiences, while providing a critical knowledge foundation upon which to build throughout theprogram. Candidates are able to identify how sustainability concepts, models, and theoriesconnect, thereby reinforcing the systems perspective necessary to work productively acrossdisciplines on sustainability problems. Candidates may begin their study in the summer or fall oftheir first year, which provides some flexibility with respect to course structure, load, andschedule. The required curriculum is comprised of five core courses plus a SustainabilityCapstone, totaling 18 credit hours. The program has attracted students from diverse backgrounds at various stages of their careers.The program is in its second year and currently enjoys more than 32 traditional andnontraditional students. The continued success of the program is greatly due to collaboration byfaculty members with varied expertise. The program has received a great attention and supportfrom the University and local corporations. The major financial support from a local corporationwill ensure the success of the program in the present and the future. The program is assessed on acontinuous basis to ensure its quality and continued updates. A group of leaders from localcorporations and organizations are members of the Program Advisory Board.

Gharabagi, R., & Mallikarjuna, H. S., & Webb, D. E. (2012, June), An Interdisciplinary Master's of Sustainability Program Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20932

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