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An International Undergraduate Research Experience In Sustainable Engineering

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Sustainability and Engineering Courses

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

13.190.1 - 13.190.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4166

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

biography

Curtis Larimer University of Pittsburgh

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Curtis James Larimer is a senior undergraduate majoring in Engineering Physics in The University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering. He expects to graduate in the spring of 2008 and plans to go on to pursue a graduate engineering degree.

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Michaelangelo Tabone University of Pittsburgh

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Michaelangelo Tabone is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in Chemical Engineering. While in school, he works as resident assistant in on-campus housing, volunteers as a teaching assistant of Organic Chemistry, and has served as a paper reviewer for the Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review. Over the past three years he has participated in two sustainable engineering research projects involving sustainable drinking water systems and safe combustion on hydrogen gas. Following receiving his degree, he hopes to eventually go on to either Engineering and Public Policy Graduate School or Law School. Michaelangelo is a member of AIChE.

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Matthew Mehalik University of Pittsburgh

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Matthew Mehalik serves as Program Manager at Sustainable Pittsburgh, a nonprofit that researches and promotes polices and practices of sustainability in the 10-county region of Western Pennsylvania. Dr. Mehalik also serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mehalik has taught a variety of courses related to sustainable product innovation and design, including taking students to China and Brazil for hands on experience. He has written multiple journal articles in the areas of engineering sustainability and engineering education. Dr. Mehalik obtained a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, with concentrations in innovation, ethics, and policy, from the University of Virginia (2001).

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Kim Needy University of Pittsburgh

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Kim LaScola Needy is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University. Prior to her academic appointment, she accumulated nine years of industrial experience while working at PPG Industries and The Boeing Company. Her research interests include engineering economic analysis, engineering management, integrated resource management, and sustainable engineering. Dr. Needy is a member of ASEE, ASEM, APICS, IIE, and SWE. She is a licensed P.E. in Kansas.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An International Undergraduate Research Experience in Sustainable Engineering

Abstract

The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering (Pitt) recently launched a new International Research Experience for Students Program (IRES) sponsored by the National Science Foundation in sustainable engineering research. The Pitt IRES program presents an innovative international research experience in sustainable design for a select group of undergraduate engineering students who have high potential to pursue graduate education. Interns in the IRES program participate in a 12-week summer internship where they join a multidiscipline research team focused on a complex sustainability problem. Each team is co-led by faculty from the Pitt and the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Campinas, São Paolo, Brazil. The first year included eight preparatory weeks in Pittsburgh before traveling to Brazil for four weeks in residence at UNICAMP. The program concludes with the team preparing and presenting a final research report at the end of the summer. Interns have an opportunity to continue in the program for a second year. This paper discusses the experience during and after the first year of the IRES program at Pitt. It also discusses the research conducted during this first year – focusing on sustainable drinking water systems. This will be a student-led presentation in which the students discuss their research and experiences with the program.

1.0 Introduction

The purpose of the IRES program at the Pitt is to create an innovative, international research experience in sustainable design for a select group of undergraduate students who have high potential to pursue graduate education. The specific aims of this program are to: • Teach undergraduate engineering students to incorporate sustainability as a design constraint. • Teach engineering undergraduates to work as part of an international design team, progressing from initial reliance on faculty and graduate student advisors to reliance on team members over the course of the program. • Teach undergraduate engineers to function on cross-cultural design teams and in a different cultural environment.

The format of the IRES program is a 12-week summer internship where undergraduate engineering students join a multidiscipline research team focused on a complex sustainability problem. Each team is co-led by faculty from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Campinas, São Paolo, Brazil. The first year included eight weeks of directed background research in Pittsburgh before traveling to Brazil for four weeks in residence at UNICAMP. The program concludes with the team preparing and presenting a final research report upon returning from Brazil at the end of the summer. Interns have an opportunity to continue in the program for a second year.

Larimer, C., & Tabone, M., & Mehalik, M., & Needy, K. (2008, June), An International Undergraduate Research Experience In Sustainable Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4166

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