June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1277.1 - 14.1277.9
Transdisciplinary Green Engineering Education at San José State University
Climate change is a pressing issue for the world today. There are an increasing number of technological by-products posing a threat to the stability and quality of the world environment. According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global warming appears to be accelerating, resulting in higher increases in global temperature and higher rises in the sea level. To effectively address this problem, there is a need for transdisciplinary, transnational approaches, reflecting the complexity of the problem and the interdependence of people’s lives around the world. Consequently, the Davidson College of Engineering at San José State University (SJSU) has programmatically encouraged and supported the development of new green engineering curriculum and research, collaborating with Silicon Valley companies, many of which are at the forefront of green technologies. At the university level, the college has spearheaded a university-wide curriculum that brings together students from all seven colleges of the university to develop a deep understanding of the different aspects of climate change solutions: economic, political, moral, aesthetic, and technological. Furthermore, to augment student learning with a global perspective, the college sponsored the production of a “global green” documentary that showcases the collaborative efforts of people in both the U.S. and China. These efforts, among other initiatives, highlight a systematic theme of sustainable and green engineering at SJSU.
Climate change has emerged as the biggest problem facing humanity in the 21st century. Climate change caused by fossil fuel use has damaged and, if unabated, will continue to damage the environment upon which human beings depend for sustaining life. Compounding this problem is the rapidly growing demand for fossil fuel, brought upon by an expanding global economy and a growing world population.
Given the dire consequences of climate change, the Davidson College of Engineering (CoE) at SJSU has identified green and sustainability engineering as the overarching theme for focused development. This theme exemplifies the college’s vision of educating engineers to improve the world through innovative applications of engineering knowledge and skills. In other words, the College emphasizes the development of innovative multidisciplinary solutions to pressing human problems, and fosters students’ moral commitment to use their education in a way that benefits not only themselves, but also the society and the world.
Besides exemplifying the college’s vision, the field of green and sustainability engineering promises career opportunities for engineering graduates. For instance, the three largest cities in the San Francisco-San Jose Metropolitan area have recently established the Climate Change Compact1. The compact has ten goals that include reducing the gasoline usage by 3% from 2008 to 2013 as well as increasing the number of electric cars. Another goal is to place 20,000 new graduates in green technology jobs. Given these goals, it is important that SJSU contribute not
Wei, B., & Backer, P. (2009, June), Transdisciplinary Green Engineering Education At San Jose State University Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4871
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