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Pathways To Learning: Orchestrating The Role Of Sustainability In Engineering Education

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Engineering Ethics II

Tagged Division

Engineering Ethics

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.966.1 - 13.966.12



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Paper Authors

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Richard Theis Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott


patricia watkins Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Library

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MLIS, Research and Reference Instruction Librarian

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Mary Angela Beck Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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Assistant Professor of Humanities and Communications

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

Pathways to Learning: Orchestrating the Role of Sustainability in Engineering Education Abstract

The 2001 Action Plan put forth by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) articulates the “principles of sustainable development”1 as primary to the ASCE’s code of ethics to be implemented in engineering education. Previously, in June of 1999, the Board of Directors for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) approved the following statement on sustainable development in education:

Engineering students should learn about sustainable development and sustainability in the general education component of the curriculum as they are preparing for the major design experience. . . . Engineering faculty should use system approaches, including interdisciplinary teams, to teach pollution prevention techniques, life cycle analysis, industry ecology, and other sustainable engineering concepts.2

ASEE has aligned this statement with the program outcomes for ABET Criteria 3 which include the following3:

3c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability;

3f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; and

3h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.

Thus, integrating the theory and practice of sustainability into a curriculum is a critical issue for engineering educators to address. We seek to examine how best to insert these criteria of sustainability into our unique university context so as to better meet the educational objectives mandated by ABET.

We are an undergraduate technical university in the American Southwest offering degrees in aeronautical sciences, global security and intelligence, space physics, and aerospace, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. If our educators are to initiate sustainability into these programs, we must first examine pathways to learning and how best to introduce sustainability to the campus and curriculum.

Pathways to learning include not only transmission of information in set course curriculum but also speaker forums, inter-school partnerships, textbooks, study abroad, capstone design

Theis, R., & watkins, P., & Beck, M. A. (2008, June), Pathways To Learning: Orchestrating The Role Of Sustainability In Engineering Education Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3601

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