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Development Of An Introductory Course On “Sustainability” As Part Of The Core Curriculum

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Sustainability in Engineering Courses

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.479.1 - 14.479.7



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Paper Authors


Anoop Desai Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Anoop Desai received his BS degree in Production Engineering from the University of Bombay in 1999, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial Engineering from The University of Cincinnati in 2002 and 2006. His main research interests are in Product Lifecycle Management, Design for the Environment, Total Quality Management including tools for Six Sigma and Ergonomics.

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Jean-Claude Thomassian State University of New York, Maritime College

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Dr. Jean-Claude Thomassian received his BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toledo in 1992 and 1993, respectively, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from The University of Toledo in 1995 and 2002. His main professional interests are in mixed mode IC design and electrical engineering education; his recent research activity concentrates on symbolic analysis of circuits and MOS models.

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

Development of an Introductory Course on ‘Sustainability’ as Part of Core Curriculum


This paper presents an educational effort to develop an introductory course on Sustainability, environment and technology at a university in the southeast United States. The course development was the direct outcome of an internal ‘College of Sustainability Grant’ awarded to the author.

The course content includes diverse multidisciplinary factors that relate directly to sustainability such as Environment conscious manufacturing, economics of sustainability, soil geology etc. The newly developed course also takes advantage of audio-visual media to facilitate instruction. The novel aspect of this course is that students from across campus are involved in mini-design projects to make some aspect of any chosen system more sustainable. The principal constraint in this case is cost. The course seeks to expose students from different educational backgrounds to the common concept of sustainability.


The issue of sustainability and environmental conservation has been a front page topic of late. It has been discussed on various forums including academic, economic as well as political. There has been widespread agreement on the fact that something needs to be done in order to conserve our natural environment for future generations so they might be able to inherit a cleaner environment replete with healthy air, clean water and abundant natural resources1-5. There has been a lot of talk and so called ‘lip service’ on this issue. However, very little attention if any has been paid to build environmental consciousness into the public psyche at an early age. This can take the form of an institution wide effort to drive the point home.

While on the one hand, there has been a hue and cry over conservation of resources and cleansing the environment, practically no attention has been paid to the ‘how to’ approach that seeks to accomplish this noble objective. If it can be unequivocally proved that environmental consciousness actually does make business sense and in the long run could be cost effective, that would help in widening the umbrella of the conservationists. Additionally, it would also impart the idea of sustainability more universal appeal.

This paper presents just such an effort. The project that has been described in the following pages was undertaken at a university in the Southeast United States. The university has been undergoing a metamorphosis on various levels. One of those levels is the recognition of the ‘Green’ concept as well as an undertaking that seeks to incorporate the idea of sustainability in all aspects of campus life.

The chief objective of this paper is to inculcate in students the principal theme that a balance between environmental, economic as well as social considerations needs to be sought in all spheres of design. This point will be stressed through the incorporation of interdisciplinary teams

Desai, A., & Thomassian, J. (2009, June), Development Of An Introductory Course On “Sustainability” As Part Of The Core Curriculum Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5692

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