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Evolution of Engineering and Public Policy Undergraduate Program at Carnegie Mellon University

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Engineering and Public Policy Division Technical Session 1: In the Classroom

Tagged Division

Engineering and Public Policy

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.553.1 - 24.553.9



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Paper Authors


Deanna H. Matthews Carnegie Mellon University

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Dr. Deanna H. Matthews is Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Affairs and Assistant Teaching Professor in Engineering and Public Policy, and Education Director and researcher in the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. In her role in Engineering and Public Policy, Dr. Matthews oversees the undergraduate programs in EPP, including coordination of the undergraduate double major and minor curricula, undergraduate student advising, and teaching introductory courses in engineering and public policy. In the Green Design Institute, an interdisciplinary research center that focuses on the intersection of environmental and economic issues, her research centers on the development and deployment of the Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment tool, examining energy life cycles of new products, corporate environmental management, and educating general populations about energy-environment issues. As Education Director, she oversees education and outreach initiatives for the Green Design Institute. She has assisted in the development of executive education programs for environmental professionals to gain business-related knowledge and skills, and for business professionals to gain knowledge and skills in the area of life cycle assessment. She is the coordinator and instructor of outreach programs to K-12 students and teachers in school settings and informal educational events. She received her B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Duke University (1994) and her M.S. (1995) and Ph.D. (2001) in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the International Society of Industrial Ecology, and the American Society of Engineering Education.

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Evolu&on  of  Engineering  and  Public  Policy  at  [Ins&tu&on  X]The  undergraduate  program  in  Engineering  and  Public  Policy  at  [Ins&tu&on  X]  is  a  unique  addi&onal  major  program  for  students  earning  a  BS  degree  in  a  tradi&onal  engineering  field.  Started  in  1969,  the  program  con&nues  today  with  the  aim  of  expanding  the  skill  set  of  tradi&onal  engineers  to  beKer  address  today’s  technological  issues  as  they  relate  to  society  and  policy.  This  paper  will  discuss  the  development  of  the  EPP  program  over  its  four  decades  including  a  recent  curriculum  change  to  include  more  analysis  skill  building.  We  will  discuss  how  the  program  operates  in  conjunc&on  with  the  tradi&onal  majors,  the  course  selec&ons  students  make,  and  the  benefits  our  alumni  receive  from  the  program.  We  will  give  an  overview  of  our  capstone  EPP  Projects  course,  a  truly  interdisciplinary  teamwork  situa&on  addressing  current  technology  issues,  that  captures  many  of  the  ABET  (a)  through  (k)  outcomes.  We  do  not  expect  other  ins&tu&ons  to  duplicate  our  program,  as  it  requires  a  culture  of  interdisciplinary  collabora&on  and  extensive  commitment  at  all  levels  of  the  university  for  success  and  longevity.  However,  we  want  to  share  the  elements  of  our  curriculum  and  courses  with  others  with  similar  endeavors  (cer&ficate  programs,  minors)  and  with  others  considering  crea&ng  broad  interdisciplinary  courses  across  majors.  Our  experience  can  guide  decisions  for  developing  these  programs  and  courses  and  help  deal  with  the  challenges  these  programs  and  courses  might  have.  

Matthews, D. H. (2014, June), Evolution of Engineering and Public Policy Undergraduate Program at Carnegie Mellon University Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20444

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