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Solving Multidimensional Problems Through A New Perspective: The Integration Of Sustainability Into Engineering Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

New Approaches & Techniques in Engineering I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1129.1 - 10.1129.7



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Paper Authors

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Mark Tekippe

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Krishna Atherya

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Mani Mina

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Ryan Legg

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

Solving multidimensional problems through a new perspective: The integration of design for sustainability and engineering education

Ryan Legg, Mark Tekippe, Krishna S. Athreya, Mani Mina Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

This paper introduces the concepts and premises of design for global sustainability and its integration into engineering education. Since the main premise of engineering is “design with constraint,” the integration of global sustainability concepts and requirements will offer multidimensional constraints that will enrich the challenges and benefits of engineering. Design for sustainability is a new interdisciplinary approach to engineering, which combines traditional engineering, science, sociology, business, etc, into a true multidimensional interdisciplinary platform for effective problem solving. We will introduce the concepts, applications, and examples of such efforts in engineering education and present some important case studies. We will discuss and demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach to engineering problem solving in providing a more comprehensive education to our prospective professional engineers and world citizens. Sustainable design integrated with modern engineering practices will revolutionize the engineering profession through education, and prepare engineers and engineering students for the coming challenges of the 21st century.


Engineering as a profession exists to benefit humanity through technological innovation. Engineers are thus implicated in a responsibility to develop solutions and innovations in a manner that avoids introducing new problems to the world. Today, advances in information technology, transportation, and supply chain management are supporting an increasingly interconnected global community. In order to continue to create optimal solutions, engineers must, from the very beginning, recognize the global community and incorporate a global perspective in design. A socially responsible engineer in the world today must operate with a global perspective and leverage innovative ideas that cross disciplinary boundaries.

A new perspective is required to educate the engineering student of today to approach design challenges in a holistic manner; which ensures long term impacts of designs are well researched and addressed. Because engineers will be designing for a global community, engineering students must be able to identify the multiple effects of their practice around the world. Engineering education should use globalization as a driver to help students become more connected with the world and other professions, and to ensure that as practicing engineers they will provide the best possible solutions for the context of a problem. Currently, our education system does not adequately prepare future engineers to address challenges on this scale. Engineering students graduate from the educational arena into a global community with insufficient education about either the scope or long-term impact of the problems and solutions

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Tekippe, M., & Atherya, K., & Mina, M., & Legg, R. (2005, June), Solving Multidimensional Problems Through A New Perspective: The Integration Of Sustainability Into Engineering Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14942

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: © 2005 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