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Sustainability Education in a Global Era

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division: Sustainability and Hands-On Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

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Paper Authors


Paula Alvarez Pino UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center

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Paula Alvarez Pino is the Center Coordinator and Research Assistant of the Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center at University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB). Paula coordinates and communicates work effort and development within the center. She obtains, evaluates and processes materials related to different research projects, as well as, assists in publication of papers and grant proposals. Paula constantly collaborates with the City of Birmingham as liaison in several projects related to the field of sustainability, such as the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, the Mobile Food Market, and Bikeshare Birmingham. Paula has also helped organize and develop outreach programs that educate the youth about the principles of sustainability.

She received a bachelor of science in Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering from UAB and is a credentialed practitioner on Envision Sustainable Infrastructure rating system (ENV SP). She is actually pursuing her masters in the field of Civil Engineering.

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Andrew J. Sullivan

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Specializes in traffic operations and traffic control systems.

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Fouad H. Fouad University of Alabama - Birmingham

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Dr. Fouad H. Fouad, Ph.D., P.E., is Professor and Chairman of the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), and the Director of the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center. Dr. Fouad is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Fouad’s research interest is in the area of infrastructure design, maintenance, and rehabilitation with a focus on sustainable green building design and construction.

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Sustainability Education in a Global Era


We live in an era of expanding globalization. The interconnectedness of the world has been increased in all aspects of life. The International Monetary Fund identified four basic aspects of globalization: trade and transactions, capital and investment movements, migration and movement of people, and the dissemination of knowledge. [1] For the United States to continue to be at the forefront of science and technology, global education is of extraordinary importance. Therefore, we must develop a workforce of engineering students with the skills and knowledge needed for a more responsible and competitive participation in the international research setting of the twenty-first century. [2]

Education, culture, employment opportunities, and international trade and connectivity are among the several benefits that globalization has on our lifestyle. Despite the benefits, globalization also contributes to the challenges for the century ahead. Globalization has fostered faster production, trade and consumption of material goods unparalleled in our collective history. This has increased the ecological footprint of human activities accentuating the major environmental challenges that we experience – such as global warming, cross- boundary water and air pollution, all of which await engineering solutions. [3] The survival of the human race is directly dependent on the environment, and it is commonly agreed that education is the most effective means that society possesses to confront the challenges of the future. Therefore, sustainability education plays a key role in shaping the world of tomorrow.

This paper describes a number of pioneering education, training and outreach initiatives in the area of sustainability being implemented at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Key Words: Globalization, Sustainability, Engineering Education

Alvarez Pino, P., & Sullivan, A. J., & Fouad, F. H. (2016, June), Sustainability Education in a Global Era Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25983

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