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Lesson in Implementing Sustainability Courses into the Engineering Curriculum

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

24.858.1 - 24.858.12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--20749

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20749

Download Count

122

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Paper Authors

biography

Bradley A. Striebig James Madison University

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Dr. Striebig is a founding faculty member and first full professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Striebig is a founder and member of Water for Africa a 501c3 non-profit organization. Dr. Striebig came to the JMU School of from Gonzaga University where he developed the WATER program in cooperation with other faculty members. Dr. Striebig is also the former Head of the Environmental Technology Group at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory. In addition to Dr’ Striebig’s engineering work, he is also a published freelance photographer who has works with local and international NGOs. Dr. Striebig was the founding editor of the Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Development and an assistant editor for the Journal of Green Building.

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Maria Papadakis James Madison University

biography

Adebayo Ogundipe James Madison University

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Adebayo Ogundipe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University (JMU). His research is on developing tools and protocols for assessing sustainable engineering designs using life-cycle assessment and industrial ecology methods. Dr. Ogundipe’s prior work includes DOD funded research on assessing the sustainability of proposed U.S. Military munitions as well as development of decision tools for the assessment of green and sustainable remediation. He is currently actively involved in development and teaching of technical content for sustainability courses and modules in the Department of Engineering at JMU. Dr. Ogundipe holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, an M.Eng in Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

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biography

Samuel Albert Morton III James Madison University

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Samuel Morton is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at James Madison University. Prior to joining the faculty of engineering, Dr. Morton was a Senior Research Engineer at the Center for Applied Research at the University of Kentucky, specifically in the Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group. Dr. Morton has teaching experience from his time as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Lafayette College and as an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Eastern Kentucky University. During Dr. Morton’s tenure at Lafayette College he taught various undergraduate courses such as Process Design Synthesis, Green Engineering and Unit Operations. Currently he teaches courses in Sustainability, Green Engineering, and Engineering Management. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1996, a MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute in 1998, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2004. He is a registered Professional Engineering in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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Abstract

Lesson  in  implementing  sustainability  courses  into  the   engineering  curriculum    This  paper  will  describe  a  newly  accredited  Bachelor  of  Science  in  Engineering  degree  requires  the  completion  of  a  two-­‐course  sequence  in  sustainability.  The  sustainability  courses  are  the  first  significant  exposure  for  undergraduate  engineering  students  to  sustainability,  environmental  engineering,  and  industrial  ecology  applications.  This  paper  will  discuss  the  lessons  learned  after  four  years  of  offering  the  two-­‐course  sustainability  sequence  in  the  general  engineering  curriculum.  Remaining  challenges  include,  determining  and  adapting  to  prerequisites  for  the  course,  adapting  the  courses  to  the  evolving  engineering  curriculum,  and  prioritizing  topics  to  be  covered.      AASHE  lists  seventeen  graduate  degree  programs  in  sustainable  engineering.  The  US  EPA  issued  a  report  entitled  “Benchmarking  Sustainable  Engineering  Education,”  in  which  they  list  65  referenced  courses  with  a  focus  on  sustainable  design  and  engineering.  Alleby  et.  al.  state  in  the  paper  entitled  “Sustainable  engineering  education  in  the  United  States”  that:  “Sustainable  engineering  is  a  conceptual  and  practical  challenge  to  all  engineering  disciplines.”  In  spite  of  this  broad  challenge,  there  is  no  consensus  yet  as  to  the  curriculum  requirements  for  implementation  of  sustainable  design  practices  across  undergraduate  engineering  programs.    Unfolding  environmental  events,  like  the  recent  flooding  in  New  York,  the  BP  oil  spill  in  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  and  our  changing  climate,  mean  that  sustainability  courses  will  increasingly  be  desired  in  engineering  fields.  Sustainability  courses  are  already  a  requirement  for  most  graduates  of  EU,  Chinese,  and  Indian  engineering  programs.    Chemical  engineering,  construction  engineering,  energy  engineering,  industrial  engineering  and  mechanical  engineering,  which  have  not  historically  included  a  required  environmental  engineering  course,  will  require  a  fundamental  understanding  of  sustainability  indicators  and  metrics  in  order  to  stay  relevant  in  international  opportunities.  Furthermore,  most  required  environmental  engineering  specific  courses  are  only  suitable  for  civil  and  environmental  engineering  majors.  Introductory  environmental  engineering  courses  often  have  objectives  focused  more  upon  historical  perspectives  in  remediation  and  large-­‐scale  treatment  systems  than  upon  forward-­‐looking  sustainability  concepts.  The  suitability  sequence  introduces  applications  of  fundamental  environmental  science  and  sustainability  indicators  that  are  being  broadly  adopted  by  industry  and  organizations  to  make  informed  resource  management  and  design  decisions.    The  two-­‐course  sustainability  sequence  includes  foundational  knowledge  of  environmental  impact  assessment  methods,  life  cycle  analysis,  and  energy  considerations.  Prerequisites  for  such  a  course  are  the  foundational  math  courses  in  calculus,  chemistry,  and  physics.  The  sustainability  sequence  was  designed  for  sophomore  to  senior  students  in  engineering  and  is  applicable  to  all  engineering  disciplines.      The  topics  covered  in  the  sequence  include:     • Sustainability,  Engineering  and  Design:  Definitions  of  sustainability   • Fundamentals  of  environmental  impacts   • Biogeochemical  cycles   • Impacts  on  water  quality   • Impacts  on  air  quality   • The  carbon  cycle,  mass  balances,  and  energy  balances   • Models  for  Engineering  Sustainable  Design     • Energy  conservation  and  development     • Industrial  Ecology     • Life  Cycle  Analysis     • Sima  Pro  LCA  modeling     • Engineering  for  Human  Communities:  The  Social  Context  of  Sustainable  Design    This  sustainability  sequence  could  be  adopted  for  a  two  semester  sequence  in  sustainable  aspects  of  deign  and  engineering,  or  could  be  used  as  a  foundational  for  graduate  work  in  sustainability  and  engineering.    

Striebig, B. A., & Papadakis, M., & Ogundipe, A., & Morton, S. A. (2014, June), Lesson in Implementing Sustainability Courses into the Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20749

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