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Engineering Together Sustainable Communities: Sustainability Engineering in Action

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

International Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

International

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/p.26674

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26674

Download Count

100

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Paper Authors

biography

Noe Vargas Hernandez Carnegie Mellon University

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Noe Vargas Hernandez researches creativity and innovation in engineering design. He studies ideation methods, journaling, smartpens, and other methods and technology to aid designers improve their creativity levels. He also applies his research to the design of rehabilitation devices (in which he has various patents under process) and design for sustainability.

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biography

Heidi A. Taboada University of Texas, El Paso

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Dr. Heidi A. Taboada is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso. She holds M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research strengths involve the development of multiple objective optimization models and evolutionary game theory algorithms, design of new biologically inspired algorithms, and renewable energy systems optimization. As an active researcher, but also as a passionate educator, Dr. Taboada is interested in research related to engineering education. She is particularly interested in research related to increase the participation of minorities and women in engineering.

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biography

Jose F. Espiritu University of Texas, El Paso

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Jose F. Espiritu is an Associate Professor in the Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at El Paso. He received a BS in Biochemical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Zacatepec, a MS in Industrial Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Celaya. He obtained his MS and PhD degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. His research interests are in the broad areas of risk and reliability analysis, energy systems optimization, sustainability engineering and engineering education. His work has been published in the IEEE Transactions on Reliability, Journal of Risk and Reliability, Electric Power Systems Research, American Society for Engineering Education and International Journal of Performability Engineering. He is a member of IIE, ASEE and INFORMS.

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biography

Connie Gomez Galveston College

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Dr. Gomez received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She has worked in the areas of computer aided tissue engineering and sustainability at the University of Texas at El Paso. She is currently a member of Galveston College in Galveston, TX, where she is developing a new engineering program.

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Isaac Andres Azuz CETYS University

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Full time professor/researcher at Enginnering School. CETYS University Mexico.
Coordinator of the master program in Environment and Sustainability.

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Abstract

In the summer of 2015, a group of students and faculty from the University of Texas at El Paso and Carnegie Mellon University travelled to the city of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, to join a group of students and faculty from CETYS Universidad, a local prominent university in Mexico. The objective of the combined group was to learn about Sustainability Engineering and apply this knowledge to local community based projects. This paper is a recount of the experiences from this faculty-led study abroad exchange program funded by the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative. Furthermore, we present the lessons drawn from this experience with the hope that these help others with similar efforts. Some of these lessons include: key issues in planning effective community based projects, student teams’ early work prior to travelling, connecting classroom theory to the local community, training students to consider non-technical issues in the community, importance of student full immersion in the community, understanding the local idiosyncrasies and policymaking, and making students aware of their power and responsibilities as engineers, among others. The bi-national, multidisciplinary student teams tackled a variety of real community-based challenges, ranging from energy and water conservation for processes at local wineries, to socio-cultural issues of the indigenous Kumiai tribe. This study abroad program provided a unique opportunity to engage in real, hands-on projects with local communities to design and implement sustainable engineering solutions; the objective of this transformative educational experience is to solve real problems, and in the process, train responsible leaders that are true agents of change. Preparing a program like this requires various steps in anticipation, sometimes with years in advance, for example: cultivating the relationships with the international counterparts, procuring funding to support the activities, establishing agreements with departments and colleges for course credit recognition, resolving institutional and federal travel risk issues, recruitment and selection of students, travel and housing logistics, local contacts involved in community projects, and follow up of the projects after program completion.

Vargas Hernandez, N., & Taboada, H. A., & Espiritu, J. F., & Gomez, C., & Azuz, I. A. (2016, June), Engineering Together Sustainable Communities: Sustainability Engineering in Action Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26674

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