Asee peer logo

Sustainability in Undergraduate Civil and Mechanical Engineering Instruction

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Courses and Projects

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1147.1 - 24.1147.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Kenneth R. Leitch P.E. West Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Leitch joined the West Texas A&M University School of Engineering and Computer Science in 2009. He received a BSCE with Honors in 1995, an MSCE in 1997, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 2002, all from New Mexico State University. He also holds an MBA (2009) from Colorado Christian University.

Dr. Leitch’s research interests include the structural and transportation subareas of civil engineering as well as engineering education, sustainability, ethics, and computer modeling techniques.

Dr. Leitch is a member of ASEE, ASCE, TBΠ, and Chi Epsilon and is a registered PE in Texas and Indiana and a LEED Green Associate.

visit author page


Roy Jean Issa P.E. West Texas A&M University

visit author page

Dr. Issa is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at West Texas A&M University. He joined the College of Engineering and Computer Science in 2004, a year after it started. Since joining the department, he has been in charge of the enhancement of the Thermal Sciences Laboratory. His background is in the area of heat transfer and fluid dynamics. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Issa has worked for 4 years in the aerospace industry and 8 years in the steel rolling industry. While working in industry, he has conducted extensive experimental and numerical studies on the cooling of rolls and flat products in the hot mill. He is a co-inventor on a US patent on the rolling of flat products. His academic research activities focus on numerical modeling and experimental studies of air-mist cooling in the metal production, power generation, and food process industries. Recently, he conducted experimental studies on the chilling of beef carcasses using spray atomizers and has experience in designing spray cooling systems. Other research activities include energy sustainability studies, such as utilization of a multi-stage wind tower for indoor cooling, and design of a passive solar heating system for the distillation of industrial wastewater using solar vacuum tubes. Dr. Issa is an author of over 20 journal and conference papers in the area of heat transfer and fluid dynamics.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Sustainability in Undergraduate Civil and Mechanical Engineering InstructionAbstract – Teaching sustainability in engineering curricula fulfills ABET 2000 Outcome 3c aswell as the codes of ethics of NSPE, ASCE, and ASME. The authors have investigated the useof sustainability concepts of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)criteria and have applied principles to several undergraduate research projects and incoursework. LEED is an optional sustainability guideline in private construction and ismandated or encouraged by many federal, state, and local governments for public constructionprojects. Learning about sustainability will help engineers understand how their creations willinteract with and operate in a more complementary manner with the natural world as well as toreduce water, energy, and material usage.Sustainability has been implemented in the engineering curriculum, particularly in courses suchas capstone senior design, thermal-fluid system design, and engineering research. The projectsimplemented in those courses were selected in such a way to establish an in-depth understandingof sustainability through analytical and experimental studies, and to build environmentallyfriendly and energy efficient systems. Some of these projects include: design and constructionof a three-stage wind tower with a bypass system for indoor cooling in rural dry and hot climates,design of a passive solar heating system for the distillation of wastewater produced in ruralagricultural processing facilities, incorporation of Phase Change Material (PCM) in garments forprotection against extreme temperatures, design of an outdoor civil engineering instructionallaboratory, and experimental studies on prototype green roofs with a top vegetative layer toinvestigate the effect soil type and soil moisture level have on the heat transfer through the rooffor comfortable roof temperature.These projects will be discussed in brief in this paper and future guidance on applications ofsustainability in the undergraduate civil and mechanical engineering curriculum is discussed.

Leitch, K. R., & Issa, R. J. (2014, June), Sustainability in Undergraduate Civil and Mechanical Engineering Instruction Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23080

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: © 2014 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