Asee peer logo

Project Drawdown

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

International STEM Education: International Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Rachel A. Brennan Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16

visit author page

RACHEL A. BRENNAN, Ph.D., P.E. is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, and holds a Courtesy Appointment in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. At Penn State, Dr. Brennan chairs the Sustainability Council for the College of Engineering, and directs a transdisciplinary University Strategic Initiative for addressing global water-energy-food (WEF) nexus challenges. Her primary research and teaching interests are in creating sustainable ecological solutions for solving WEF challenges while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reversing global warming. Specifically, her research team utilizes aquatic plant biomass to recover nutrients from waste streams, and reuses them for the production of sustainable fertilizers, fodder, and biofuels. Dr. Brennan has a strong commitment to international education and outreach, particularly in developing countries, and has coordinated student engagement with communities across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

visit author page


Julio Urbina Pennsylvania State University, University Park Orcid 16x16

visit author page

JULIO V. URBINA, Ph.D is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at The Pennsylvania State Universiy. His educational research interests include effective teaching techniques for enhancing engineering education, global engineering and international perspectives, thinking and working in multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary ways, cyberlearning and cyber-environments, service and experiential learning, teaming and collaborative learning.

visit author page


Jose F. Oliden Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería

visit author page

JOSE F. OLIDEN, Eng is an Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronic deparment at National University of Engineering (UNI-Perú). His educational research interests include effective teaching techniques for enhancing engineering education, embeded systems, robotic and Sechatronic Systems, Satellital Systems and Control & Automatization.

visit author page


Juan Martín Rodríguez Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria

visit author page

JUAN M. RODRIGUEZ, Ph.D. Is a full Professor of the Science Faculty at the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería. His educational research interest includes the development of new ways to improve learning in engineering education, having the self-measuring of the absolute and inter comparative advance as the main indicator. Experimental, cyber, and experiential environments are explored.

visit author page

Download Paper |


This paper describes a pathway forward to implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) through Project Drawdown during a collaborative international pilot study abroad program led by an Anonymous University in the US (AUUS). The activities are based on selected STEM challenges and opportunities in Latin America with site-specific case studies for engaged scholarship and intellectual development in partnership with Anonymous University in Latin America (AULA). We envision that this initiative will also provide a platform to revise courses in our undergraduate curriculum to meet the new ABET Criteria for Student Outcomes (2019-2020).

By using Project Drawdown’s 100 technical, ecological, and social solutions for reversing global warming as a framework to implement the UN SDGs in a developing country, the new program presents several advantages. First, it provides students with the ability to easily identify and formulate complex engineering problems in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context. Second, it provides an academic setting to produce solutions to meet a spectrum of considerations for real communities, including public health, safety, and welfare. Third, it enables the application of ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations to make informed decisions.

After a pre-departure virtual introduction to participants from both countries, students and faculty from AUUS traveled to AULA for a six-week immersive program. The course was partitioned into two three-week modules to facilitate faculty participation from AUUS as well as AULA. Module 1 addressed UN SDG-11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, whereas Module 2 focused on various aspects of the UN SDGs through Drawdown. Each module was taught by a faculty member from AUUS and a faculty member from AULA together to ensure that cross-cultural and pedagogical aspects were fully integrated in each module.

This paper describes the changes and new activities added to an earlier version of this program that was offered between AUUS and AULA last year. The paper also reports the motivation behind the program revisions, the integration of SDG’s with Project Drawdown, and the strategy for obtaining the approval and support of the university faculty. The assessment of newer hands-on projects added to the program and future activities will be presented. The impact of this program in students’ professional growth and career development will be discussed as well.

Brennan, R. A., & Urbina, J., & Oliden, J. F., & Rodríguez, J. M. (2020, June), Project Drawdown Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35097

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015