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Work in Progress: Engineering for Sustainable Development: An Undergraduate Course Inspiring New Mentalities in Engineering Students of All Majors

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Curriculum and Course Development

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jorge R. Lara Texas A&M University

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Dr. Jorge R. Lara, Texas A&M University

Dr. Lara is Instructional Associate Professor of Engineering at Texas A&M University in the First Year Engineering Program. He is faculty affiliate of the Institute of Engineering Education and Innovation and the Energy Institute of the College of Engineering. Dr. Lara received his PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering in 2005 and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2003 from Texas A&M University. He held a Post- doctoral fellowship in the Chemical Engineering Department in Texas A&M University. He has served as the Energy Program Manager of the Texas A&M University System, which is composed of 20 campuses across the state of Texas. Dr. Lara serves as journal article reviewer for The International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer (Elsevier), Desalination (Elsevier), Desalination and Water Treatment (Elsevier), and The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering (John Wiley). His research interests are engineering education in sustainable development, vapor compression desalination, reclaiming produced water in oil fields, modeling simulation and optimization of energy systems, energy and water supply chain, energy use, conservation and lighting technologies for buildings, communications for energy systems, water use in hydraulic fracturing, environmental impacts of energy production, turbomachinery for energy use and its reliability.

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Sunay Palsole Texas A&M University

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Dr. Palsole is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Remote Engineering Education at Texas A&M University, and has been involved in academic technology for over 20 years. Prior to Texas A&M, he was the Associate Vice Provost for Digital Learning at UT San Antonio, where he lead teams focused on enhancing the learner and teaching experiences across all spaces. His focus on the user experience and data, has led to development and adoption of design strategies that measure learning and teaching efficacies across his service in various institutions of higher education.

A geophysicist by academic training, he began to design multimedia applications for teaching and learning in the late 1990’s, developing his first online course in 1996. Since then, he has helped a few hundred faculty from varied disciplines develop hybrid and online courses. He has also taught traditional, hybrid and online courses ranging in size from 28 to 250. He is also co-developer of a Digital Academy which was a finalist for the Innovation Award by the Professional and Organizational Development Network and an Innovation Award winner. He was recently named as the Center for Digital Education’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers for 2016.

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Mark H. Weichold Texas A&M University

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Dr. Mark H. Weichold, Regents Professor and Halliburton Engineering Global Programs Professor, is an electrical engineer and has worked for General Dynamics Ft. Worth Division, Motorola in Austin, TX and the U.S. Army Electronic Technology and Devices Laboratory in Ft. Monmouth, NJ. He joined the Electrical Engineering faculty at Texas A&M University in 1982 and now holds the rank of Professor.

In January 2007, he became Dean and CEO of Texas A&M University’s branch campus in Doha, Qatar.
After completing nine years as the Dean and CEO of Texas A&M at Qatar, he returned to College Station to assume the role of Senior Associate Dean in the College of Engineering.

He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, a member of the American Physical Society, an ABET program evaluator, and a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas. In 2013, he was awarded the Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Energy Award for ‘Lifetime Achievement for the Advancement of Education’.

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Patrick Linke Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Dr. Patrick Linke is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar. Dr. Linke also serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Graduate Studies. He is the holder of the Qatar Shell Professorship for Energy and Environment.

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Work in Progress: Engineering for sustainable development. An undergraduate course inspiring new mentalities in engineering students of all majors.

Abstract There is a realization that the world is becoming unsustainable because of the technology developed by engineers. National and international engineering bodies have recognized this problem, and have articulated the need for sustainable engineering. This is creating an increasing social demand both nationally and globally to graduate engineers who have been trained to respond to the modern economic and environmental challenges. In a previous work at a large university in the Southwest, the authors developed an instrument to measure sustainable development literacy in incoming freshman engineering students. This work demonstrated a lack of understanding about sustainable engineering among the incoming freshman and led to the development of a module on sustainable engineering. The student engagement and interest in this module was measured, and these results have led to the design of a full semester long course titled Engineering for Sustainable Development for undergraduate students of all majors. The course will take a modular approach in its development with each topical module having clearly defined and measurable outcomes with some independence. Some preliminary conversations have shown interest in this topic in industry, and the module approach of the course will be structured for workforce development with PDH and CEU credits for registered professional engineers. Responding to those demands for a more sustainable engineering practice, the course involves sustainable circular designs as core promoters of a circular economy. This innovative design thinking will create a new mentality in engineering students. In this paper, the authors present the process followed for the design, implementation and assessment of the course “Engineering for sustainable development” aimed to introduce and integrate sustainability engineering learning early in the engineering curriculum and leveraging the same content differentiated for adult learners in workforce development. The final paper will contain analysis of learning outcomes and learner feedback which will be cycled into the continuous development cycle of the course.

Lara, J. R., & Palsole, S., & Weichold, M. H., & Linke, P. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Engineering for Sustainable Development: An Undergraduate Course Inspiring New Mentalities in Engineering Students of All Majors Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38149

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