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


  • 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.

name of conference

  • 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

published proceedings

  • 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

author list (cited authors)

  • Lara, J. R., Palsole, S., Weichold, M. H., & Linke, P.

complete list of authors

  • Lara, JR||Palsole, S||Weichold, MH||Linke, P

publication date

  • January 2021