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Exposing First Year Students To Green Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Green Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.552.1 - 7.552.9



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Paper Authors

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Tamara Knott

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Jean Kampe

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

Main Menu Session 3251

Exposing First-Year Students to Green Engineering

J. C. Malzahn Kampe, Tamara W. Knott

Division of Engineering Fundamentals Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The Division of Engineering Fundamentals provides a "home" for incoming freshman engineering students and most transfer engineering students during their first year at Virginia Tech. Here the students are given a prelude to the academic and professional future that lies in store for them through a required two-course sequence, Introduction to Engineering I and II (EF1015 and EF1016). Through these two courses, the Division has a unique opportunity to expose the 1200+ first-year engineering students to the concerns of green engineering. Currently EF1015 is designed to introduce students to the engineering disciplines and to aspects of the engineering profession. The course uses various types of problems, from multiple disciplines, to engage the new engineering student in standard problem solving techniques. By altering some of the problems to include green content, the concerns of green engineering can be presented to the students as a common aspect of engineering problem solving, rather than as a separate topic. Through EF1015 and EF1016, the Division is the bridge to all degree granting departments within the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech; the green modifications, currently in progress, will facilitate meeting the College's goal that every engineering graduate is exposed to environmental issues and is made aware that engineering systems have environmental consequences. The paper includes the plan, a sample problem, and a discussion of the implementation of the plan. This work was first presented at the Virginia Tech Green Engineering Conference in July 2001.


First-year students often enter university education without a clear idea of where they are headed. Many enter engineering colleges because they excel in math and science classes and have always been told that “engineering” is the right place for them to be. The Division of Engineering Fundamentals (EF) at Virginia Tech exists to help these students bring their talents and interests into perspective and, if engineering is indeed the right place for them, select an engineering discipline. In this formative role, the Division has a unique opportunity to introduce the concerns of green engineering to the 1200+ students who pass through the program each year with their first steps toward a Virginia Tech engineering degree. The effort described herein promotes a green awareness throughout the required first semester engineering course, EF1015. The approach used presents green issues as commonplace aspects of any engineering system, Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Knott, T., & Kampe, J. (2002, June), Exposing First Year Students To Green Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10377

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