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Sustainability In Environmental Engineering Education

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.524.1 - 3.524.9



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Paper Authors

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M. Wayne Hall

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Marilyn Barger Hillsborough Community College

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

Session 3551

Sustainability in Environmental Engineering Education Marilyn Barger, M. Wayne Hall Civil and Environmental Engineering FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

ABSTRACT More than a decade has passed since the Brundtland Commission report, Our Common Future, and six years since Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. Those documents recommended that, to insure a healthy and habitable environment for future generations, the world s businesses, industries, governments, and individuals should adopt and work towards a goal of Global Sustainability. The years that have passed since these documents were released have produced some movement towards this goal. Many observers, however, have considered this progress as too slow and too meager. This situation has changed somewhat during the recent past, with concrete examples of attempts to address Sustainability issues, in academia, government, and industry, beginning to emerge. A special case of such emergence is found within today s institutions of engineering education . Engineering is by definition a discipline that focuses on the betterment of human existence through the development and application of technology. It also manifests itself in a wide spectrum of disciplines. These attributes match closely certain characteristics of Sustainability. Thus it seems that, if the concepts of Sustainability are to become an important part of world culture, they should and must take roots in engineering education. This is beginning to happen. Considering the importance of Global Sustainability in light of the responsibilities of one generation of engineers to succeeding ones, however, makes clear the need for those engaged in engineering education to give their full attention to two questions, e.g., $What is being done, and, What should be being done in engineering education, to address the issues and incorporate the ideals of Sustainability into the education of young, new engineers?#

There are several ways that the concepts of Sustainability can be brought into civil and environmental engineering education. At the institutional level, the engineering colleges themselves can make the conscience decision to carry out their operations in a sustainable manner, and follow up by aggressively implementing that decision. In addition, practices supportive of Sustainable Development can easily be incorporated into the philosophy of all civil and environmental engineering curricula as one aspect of their global goals and objectives. Finally, the ideas of Sustainability can be integrated into classroom material as a constant backdrop for design development, as well as a ubiquitous and important constraint in all types of problem solving and project development.

This paper will review examples of these various modes of incorporating Sustainability into the fabric of civil and environmental engineering education, in the context of engineering history and philosophy. It will tie these to modern engineering professional practice in government and industry aimed at achieving a more Sustainable way of life.

Hall, M. W., & Barger, M. (1998, June), Sustainability In Environmental Engineering Education Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7445

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