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Baccalaureate Program of Sustainable System Engineering – Objectives and Curriculum Development

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Systems Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.274.1 - 26.274.7



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Paper Authors

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Runing Zhang P.E. Metropolitan State University of Denver


Aaron Brown Metropolitan State University of Denver

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Aaron Brown is an associate professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology. His work is primarily focused in the realm of appropriate design and humanitarian engineering. He has worked on development projects all over the globe but his most recent humanitarian engineering project is focused locally in Denver where he is implementing the installation of solar furnaces he designed to help a low income community reduce their energy bills. This project was recently featured on NPR, the Denver Post and earned him the title "Community Game Changer of the Month" from CBS Denver. He also was recently nominated for the Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year award and the Presidential Award for STEM mentoring, both related to this project. Previous to his academic career Aaron Brown worked in the aerospace industry on such projects as the Mars Curiosity landing mechanism and Hubble robotics mission.

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Jeno Balogh Metropolitan State University of Denver

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Baccalaureate Program of Sustainable System Engineering – Objectives and Curriculum DevelopmentWhile post-graduate sustainable programs have been very well developed in universities, untilrecently, baccalaureate programs of sustainability education have been largely underrepresented.With the success of the post-graduate programs in a wide range of individual sustainabledevelopment areas, such as environmental sustainability, manufacture sustainability,infrastructure sustainability, etc. the time seems appropriate for creating a baccalaureate programin sustainable systems engineering (SSE) which can form a pipeline of students educated from asystems perspective in sustainable engineering practices that will feed into the post graduateprograms, as well as fill a need in government and industry. The baccalaureate SSE will focus onmore general and multidisciplinary areas of sustainable engineering systems to prepare studentsfor future sustainable development challenges. This paper studies three major aspects of thedevelopment of the baccalaureate SSE program at the Metropolitan State University of Denver:(a) Necessity of SSE, (b) Objectives and (c) Curriculum Development.Necessity: Sustainable development necessitates a systemic method which utilizes fundamentalengineering skills coupled with a holistic problem solving approach. Sustainable developmentrequires engineering engagement in policymaking, risk analysis, disaster management.Additionally, sustainable development requires engineering involvement of public relationshipand public affairs with knowledge of behavior science to solve problems such as NIBY (not-in-my-back-yard) problems and other social issues.Objective: The development of a sustainable vision and leadership model for engineeringstudents which prepares those students with a curriculum that encompasses a regional and globalperspective of sustainable development theory, relying on a sound understanding and applicationof engineering fundamentals and coupled with an emphasis on communication skills.Curriculum Development: The curriculum is modeled from the guidelines of ABETrequirements for System Engineering. This necessitates that the education provides students withthe knowledge of fundamental engineering practices, such as environmental, infrastructural,manufacture engineering and natural resources; the knowledge of political/social systems such ascommunication, public/governmental relationship, behavior science and globalization and theknowledge of fundamental economy and business practices such as regional and global economy,marketing, information system.

Zhang, R., & Brown, A., & Balogh, J. (2015, June), Baccalaureate Program of Sustainable System Engineering – Objectives and Curriculum Development Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23613

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