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Board # 40 : Research Initiation: Effectively Integrating Sustainability within an Engineering Program

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Paul Gannon Montana State University

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Paul Gannon is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT USA.

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Ryan Anderson Montana State University


Carolyn Plumb Montana State University

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Carolyn Plumb is the recently retired Director of Educational Innovation and Strategic Projects in the College of Engineering at Montana State University (MSU). Plumb has been involved in engineering education and program evaluation for over 25 years, and she continues to work on externally funded projects relating to engineering education.

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Research efforts included implementation of survey instruments to assess engineering faculty attitudes toward sustainability and engineering education research, in addition to engineering student attitudes toward professional responsibilities. Results from the faculty surveyed (67 respondents) indicated they are generally supportive of integrating sustainability within engineering education (their classes), but desire training opportunities to do so effectively. The faculty surveyed are also generally supportive of engineering education research and establishment of an associated research center. Faculty survey data was communicated to the Dean, and helped motivate a new engineering education research center. There was a small fraction of engineering faculty respondents who are skeptical of the effectiveness of engineering education research, and its legitimacy as a professional endeavor for engineering faculty. Results from the students surveyed (35 respondents) indicated their choice of engineering major was significantly motivated by the perception that the engineering profession helps society, and they identified specific courses within the program which strongly influenced this motivation. Interpretations of survey data is being leveraged for continued research efforts. Professional development efforts included attending/hosting workshops on qualitative and quantitative education research methods, effective engineering pedagogies and energy education practices. These activities have resulted in new interdisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations, and significantly-improved engineering education research capacities. Results and interpretations from preliminary research and professional development efforts will be presented and discussed in context of integrating sustainability within engineering programs.

Gannon, P., & Anderson, R., & Plumb, C. (2017, June), Board # 40 : Research Initiation: Effectively Integrating Sustainability within an Engineering Program Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27848

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