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Can Community Development Projects in Engineering Education Be Both Responsible and Sustainable?: Theory, Education, and Praxis

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Juan C. Lucena Colorado School of Mines

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Juan Lucena is Professor and Director of Humanitarian Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM). Juan obtained a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies (STS) from Virginia Tech and a MS in STS and BS in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). His books include Defending the Nation: U.S. Policymaking to Create Scientists and Engineers from Sputnik to the ‘War Against Terrorism’ (University Press of America, 2005), Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (Morgan &Claypool, 2010), Engineering Education for Social Justice: Critical Explorations and Opportunities (Springer, 2013), and Engineering Justice (with Jon Leydens, Wiley, 2018)

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This paper outlines the relationships between students, socio-technical systems, resilient communities, and community development projects in engineering education, focusing on how the latter can and should become both responsible and sustainable. Using the supply chain of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) as an area of application for engineering students involved in community engagement, the paper first describes the characteristics that communities should exhibit and what they should expect of engineers in order to achieve community resiliency. Second, it outlines criteria that engineering projects, aimed at intervening in the ASGM supply chain, should have in order to contribute to responsible and sustainable community development. Third, it describes an educational intervention (both in class and field work) where these relationships, characteristics and criteria were taught to engineering students. Finally, it outlines how we propose to evaluate student learning, project impact, and community satisfaction with the projects.

Lucena, J. C. (2020, June), Can Community Development Projects in Engineering Education Be Both Responsible and Sustainable?: Theory, Education, and Praxis Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34254

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