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Teaching Sustainability in an Engineering Graphics Class with Solid Modeling Tool

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Using graphics in the rest of the engineering courses

Tagged Division

Engineering Design Graphics

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1152.1 - 23.1152.15



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Paper Authors

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Ananda Mani Paudel Colorado State University, Pueblo Orcid 16x16


Jane M. Fraser Colorado State University, Pueblo

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Jane M. Fraser is Chair of the Department of Engineering at Colorado State University, Pueblo. She was formerly on the faculty at the Ohio State University and Purdue University. She has a B.A in mathematics from Swarthmore College and a M.S. and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and operations research from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Teaching Sustainability in an Engineering Graphics Class with SolidModeling ToolEngineers or designers of the future need to deal with sustainability and should be able tounderstand the environmental impacts of their design. Students have struggled to graspthe core concept of sustainability and wondering how that could use it in the practice.There is no doubt about learning sustainability, but the concern is how to accommodatethose concepts without missing the standard set up of the course. Offering a separatecourse might be an option but may not be a realistic choice without increasing thenumber of credits hour in the program. Besides, in a small or mid size universities, theremight be resource constraint to offer separate course in sustainability for engineers. Manyuniversities in USA use SolidWorks as the main Computer Aided Design (CAD) tool.Solid Works has provided a sustainability tool, which is very effective to teachsustainability at the very beginning of the engineering curriculum in the engineeringgraphics course.The study was performed in southern Colorado regional university over a period of twoyears involving eight sections of the engineering graphics class consisting twenty fourstudents each. In the pre- survey most of the students agreed upon the importance ofsustainability and also mention that they have heard about sustainability either in highschool or in the work place. The response on how they deal about the environmentalimpacts was filled with poorly developed vague ideas. Based on the survey the authordesigned two week equivalent course work. Sustainability in design is built in theexisting course integrating with the basic modeling techniques in design.The approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is used to analyze the Energyconsumption, environmental impact, and carbon foot print of a cup holder. Options inSolid work were chosen to specify the material and manufacturing processes. Asustainability report was generated listing the amount of carbon foot print, waterEutrophication, Air Acidification and total Energy Consumption. A base scenario wasselected using carbon steel as a material and East Asia as a manufacturing region. Theother cases for different material and manufacturing options were compared to the baseline and the environmental impact of different design options was studied. This modulehelped students to understand and the concept of sustainability and are able to observe thedifference in environmental impact quantitatively of the product.To investigate the improvements, the same pre- survey questionnaire ware asked at theend of the course. The difference in pre and post survey was statistically tested andfound significantly different. This approach provided a tool to address the environmentalimpacts in their daily life and in their design work and imparted an additional skill set. Inaddition to fulfilling academic requirement this study helped to increase the interest ofthe students in sustainability. Similar approach could be used in other engineeringprograms with certain modifications depending upon the student’s learning styles andeducational background.

Paudel, A. M., & Fraser, J. M. (2013, June), Teaching Sustainability in an Engineering Graphics Class with Solid Modeling Tool Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22537

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