Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Recent shifts in economic and international policy have resulted in environmental sustainability emerging as a rapidly growing education objective. This is true especially in those fields related to STEM and at the post-secondary level. ABET, the accreditation board for engineering and technology programs, identifies sustainability as a realistic design constraint to be implemented into undergraduate engineering curricula, and specifically requires sustainability to be covered in architectural, civil, and environmental engineering programs. However, an understanding of sustainability and how and when decisions related to sustainable practices are made transcends STEM careers. Therefore, education in sustainability should reach all academic majors. For example, at the authors’ institution only 30% of students are enrolled in ABET-accredited engineering programs. However, regardless of undergraduate major, graduates will commission into the US military and be in a position to incorporate sustainability into high-impact decisions within months of graduating. Many go on to serve as high-level decision and policy makers, both during and after their military service. In an effort to extend education in sustainability to all students, a new sustainability course was developed within the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, and will be offered to all students beginning Fall 2019. All degrees awarded are Bachelors of Science (BS) degrees due to the extensive science, engineering and mathematics education students receive. This background allowed the course committee to design a course for non-technical majors which incorporates predominantly technical concepts and learning objectives. All graduates enter into a military career as commissioned officers and are expected to make informed decisions on topics ranging from space operations to routine military installation maintenance and management. To address this wide range of occupational responsibility, the primary learning goal is for the students to be able to integrate and advocate for sustainability principles in plans and decisions affecting the built environment at the conclusion of the course. Course design worked backwards to accomplish this goal beginning with the summative assessment and ending with the individual learning experiences. Using this approach, instructors were able to identify major sustainability concepts critical for achieving the primary learning goal. The Envision framework was used to evaluate and understand the built environment. Some additional concepts included are life cycle assessment, renewable energy, industrial ecology, green building, control systems, transportation and urban design. Students will be assessed at the beginning and end of the course to determine if the course met the primary learning goal.
Sievers, K., & Beauregard, M. S., & Pocock, J. B., & Strecker, A. M., & Kays, K., & Christ, J. A. (2018, June), Work in Progress: Sustainable Engineering for non-Engineers Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/31308
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