Engineering for sustainable development is a way of applying science to improve the quality of human life for all time, while maintaining an ecological balance on the earth. Applied sustainability is another term used to describe the concept and just sustainability, which adds the values of justice and equity, is related.
There is now a professional duty on engineers to formulate systems, technologies and attitudes that will deliver a more sustainable society by adopting an applied sustainability approach across all sectors of engineering.Climate destabilization, resource depletion, inefficiency, wastefulness and pollution are some of the difficult problems we face as a global society. Engineers have a special place in being able to develop solutions and new strategies to deal with these critical subjects, whilst also providing the necessary tools to address global poverty and health issues to create a just sustainable society.
Definitions[edit | edit source]
Citizen Engineer defines the concept in a slightly different way, saying: "It is within the engineer's power to envision—and create—a new generation of buildings, vehicles, machines, devices, and services that deliver the functionality people want without destroying the ecosystem or depleting scarce resources."
A popular definition that is often quoted comes from a UN report: "Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable – to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
William McDonough, author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things says that the goal of designs should be "To love all the children of all species for all time".
Engineering is very broad, and so engineering for sustainable development can be applied to every area of life. Anything you can think of is somehow related to engineering for sustainable development: drinking water, bank investments, building a house, the food that you eat, even the air that you breathe! A few examples of subcategories within the category of engineering for sustainable development are open access information, appropriate technology, green information technology, solar energy, needs of the developing world, socially responsible investing, industrial symbiosis, and green design principles.
Highlight[edit | edit source]
Programs and Courses[edit | edit source]
Courses[edit | edit source]
- At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the famous D-Lab
- ESD166J Sustainable Energy
- SP.721 D-Lab: Development
- SP.722 D-Lab II: Design
- SP.723 D-Lab III: Dissemination
- Sustainable Energy at MIT
- Introduction to Sustainable Development for Engineering and Built Environment Professionals
- MECH4400 - Engineering for Sustainable Development at the U. of W. Australia
- E242A: Sustainable Development, Stanford University
- 2103 Carbon Footprint & Sustainable Development, University of Toronto
- ENVI 436 Engineering for Sustainable Development Cape Breton University: Distance Education
- MECH836 Applied Sustainability, Queen's University, Canada
- MECH425 Engineering for Sustainable Development, Queen's University, Canada
- Sustainable Engineering BEng Hons The Sustainable Engineering course has a broad engineering background with a focus on sustainability issues to produce graduates with a strong sense of the relative impact of engineering processes on the natural environment. Lancaster University.
Programs[edit | edit source]
- MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge This course has been specially designed to attract top flight engineers early in their careers to spend a year learning how to become more effective in delivering engineering for sustainable development, through enhanced technical skills, through better understanding of the issues surrounding Sustainable Development, and through an improved awareness of the commercial and management techniques to deliver more sustainable practices in their own working environments.
- Master's Program in Sustainable Development, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
- Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE) - SEE is a Master of Science Degree Program with three specializations: Sustainable Power Generation, Sustainable Energy Utilization in the Built Environment, and Solar Energy. At The Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
- PostgraduateProgram in Sustainability Engineering, International Centre for Sustainability Engineering and Research (ICSER), University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
- Stanford's Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability http://web.archive.org/web/20201229001537/https://extreme.stanford.edu/
- Bachelor of Engineering in Sustainable Energy Engineering at the University of Adelaide in Australia
- Applied Sustainability University of Arkansas http://web.archive.org/web/20120512222512/http://asc.uark.edu/261.asp
- Masters of Science in Sustainable Design - University of Philadelphia - http://www.philau.edu/Green/
- Science for Sustainable Development - Linköping University- http://www.liu.se/en/education/master/programmes/science-for-sustainable-development-120-credits?l=en
- Masters of Energy and Sustainability now offered at University of Denver http://www.universitycollege.du.edu/about/news_events/news.cfm?newsID=190
- Sustainability Institute Masters Program - http://web.archive.org/web/20120310195538/http://www.sustainabilityinstitute.net:80/masters-programme-mainmenu-11
- Masters in Sustainable Development - University of Stirling http://www.external.stir.ac.uk/postgrad/course_info/nat_science/aquacult/sus-dev.php
- Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development http://web.archive.org/web/20121010073658/http://www.forumforthefuture.org:80/masters-course
- MSc Environment and Sustainable Development University College London http://web.archive.org/web/20100409082706/http://www.ucl.ac.uk:80/DPU/courses/esd.htm
Donation Opportunities[edit | edit source]
Funding Opportunities for Engineers[edit | edit source]
- A list of funding opportunities, mostly in the United States, can be found here.
- The National Science Foundation (of the USA) is offering an environmental sustainability program that supports research in the area of engineering for sustainable development.
- Canadian homeowners and small business owners can apply for grants and financial initiatives from Natural Resources Canada for improving energy efficiency.
- The School of Engineering Learn, Lead and Serve (LLS) Fund is a program at the Catholic University of Dayton in Ohio that offers $1,000 to $2,000 grants to individuals and groups for engineering research and community service. Grants and scholarships of this type are likely offered to students at other universities and colleges around the world.
- The Bank of America offers funds to organizations and students through the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. The initiative supports community work in the areas of education, neighborhood preservation, arts and culture, and health and human services.
- The Energy Innovations Small Grant Program provides grants for "small businesses, non-profits, individuals and academic institutions to conduct research that establishes the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts".
- Banks like the [http://web.archive.org/web/20090504143155/http://www.sbcreditunion.com:80/solarloans.htm Santa Barbara County Federal Credit Union offer loans for installing solar power systems.
- The Strategic Environmental Project Pipeline (StEPP) offers funding to individuals in the United States for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention projects.
Job Opportunities[edit | edit source]
- One Laptop Per Child is looking for software developers and managers.
- The Canadian International Development Agency has employment, internship, and volunteer opportunities for Canadians.
- Village Earth has volunteer opportunities in appropriate technology and other areas.
- SustainableBusiness.com is a search engine for 'green dream jobs', including engineering.
- SustainJobs.com is a search engine for climate change and renewable energy jobs.
Journals[edit | edit source]
- The International Journal for Service Learning and Engineering
- Energy Policy
- The International Journal of Sustainable Transportation
- Renewable Energy
- Journal of Sustainability
- Journal of Sustainable Development
- Journal of Solar Energy Engineering
- Journal of green building
Work to be Done[edit | edit source]
Stubs that need to be expanded:
Education for engineering for sustainable development[edit | edit source]
- Engineering for Sustainable Development is an Appropedia page with external links to education programs and courses.
- Service learning is a great way to accomplish education while providing a useful service. Engineers learn well through practically applying their skills. See Service learning in engineering for more information.
- The Engineering Subject Centre in the UK offers resources for Education for Sustainable Development.
- The Applied Sustainability Research Group within the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada led by J.M.Pearce provides the opportunity for research and education on engineering for sustainable development.
- The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education lists education programs in the United States.
- Mech425 is a course offered at Queen's University. Mech425 schedule is a complete schedule of the course curriculum with links to resources related to open access, appropriate technology, green information technology, solar energy, the developing world, socially responsible investing, industrial symbiosis, green design principles, and sustainability in general.
Tools[edit | edit source]
- The Open source engineering software page has many links to various open source software programs used in engineering.
- Thingiverse is a website where people can share digital designs. It also provides a way to upload non-compliant files to be shared on Appropedia pages.
- The Mech425 GreenIT Project page offers links to several Green Information Technology pages. Each article has an Excel spreadsheet that is an energy conservation measure (ECM), used to quantitatively evaluate the benefits of a specific technology.
Canadian and US Accreditation Standards for Sustainability[edit | edit source]
The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) is the governing body that accredits educational programs in the United States so they can be recognized as meeting the necessary criteria. The document that outlines the requirements is called "CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITING ENGINEERING PROGRAMS" and can be found here. Some of the sustainability related learning requirements for an engineering program are:
- "an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability"
- "an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility"
- "the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context"
The Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, part of Engineers Canada, is the governing body that accredits undergraduate engineering programs in Canada to ensure that graduates have the qualifications to become a professional engineer. The Accreditation Criteria and Procedures can be found here.
- "accredited engineering programs must contain not only adequate mathematics, science, and engineering curriculum content but must also develop communication skills, an understanding of the environmental, cultural, economic, and social impacts of engineering on society, the concepts of sustainable development, and the capacity for life-long learning."
- "Impact of engineering on society and the environment: An ability to analyze social and environmental aspects of engineering activities. Such ability includes an understanding of the interactions that engineering has with the economic, social, health, safety, legal, and cultural aspects of society, the uncertainties in the prediction of such interactions; and the concepts of sustainable design and development and environmental stewardship."
- "While considerable latitude is provided in the choice of suitable content for the complementary studies component of the curriculum, some areas of study are essential in the education of an engineer. Accordingly, the curriculum must include studies in the following:
...(g)Sustainable development and environmental stewardship"
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- SPeARTM Sustainable Project Appraisal Routine, a project appraisal methodology, to be used as a tool for rapid review of the sustainability of projects, plans, products and organizations.
- Best foot forward - Tools to measure and communicate environmental impact and sustainability, including an environmental measurement methodology called EcoIndexTM
- Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Development: Energy, Environment, and Health
- the Institution of Civil Engineers' Environment and Sustainability Activity
- Institution of Chemical Engineers Sustainability Metrics – indicators that can be used to measure sustainability performance of an operating unit.
- The Natural Step It provides a visionary blueprint for a sustainable world. As an international advisory and research organization, the Natural Step work with some of the largest resource users on the planet to create solutions, models and tools designed to accelerate global sustainability.
- Engineering for Sustainable Development: Guiding Principles - The Royal Academy of Engineering
- The Forum on Science and Innovation for Sustainable Development An attempt to outline the burgeoning field.
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- World Energy Council promotes the sustainable supply and use of energy
- UNESCO Portal for Sustainable Development
- Engineers Against Poverty
- Engineers Without Borders
- The Foundation for Sustainable Technologies
- National Center for Appropriate Technology
- Engineers for a Sustainable World
- EngineerAid Official Website
- Science for Humanity
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Bert, Ray. "Citizen Engineer: A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering." Civil Engineering (08857024) 79.12 (2009): 77. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 2 May 2010.
- From Our Common Future (The Brundtland Report) – Report of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development
- Criterion 3, category c
- Criterion 3, category f
- Criterion 3, category h
- Page 11 of the 2009 Accreditation Criteria and Procedures document.
- Section 3.1.9, page 13 of the 2009 Accreditation Criteria and Procedures document.
- Section 220.127.116.11, page 18 of the 2009 Accreditation Criteria and Procedures document.