Weaving sustainability into undergraduate engineering education throughinnovative pedagogical methods: A student's perspective

Sarah Bauer, Andrea Rose McFarland, Mary Staehle, Kauser Jahan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Engineering educators are continually striving to develop teaching tools that engage students' imaginations, provide a platform for integrating modern technology into the undergraduate curriculum, and address pressing societal needs. In recent years, spurred by the declining condition of the environment, engineering educators have begun to incorporate concepts of green engineering and sustainability into undergraduate education. Through the perspectives of undergraduate students who are enrolled in the newly developed, environmentally conscious curriculum of Rowan University's College of Engineering, early experiences in engineering education will be showcased. The hallmark of Rowan University's Engineering program is its Engineering Clinic: a required eight-semester sequence for engineering majors that brings real-world engineering into the classroom through interdisciplinary, project-based learning. Undergraduate students are engaged in the scientific discovery process through these stimulating activities while they are concurrently introduced to multidisciplinary engineering principles from Chemical, Mechanical, Electrical and Computer, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. Engineering design, heavily emphasized in the Freshman and Sophomore Engineering Clinic courses, has expanded beyond the physical development of ideas to now incorporate sustainable practice. The Clinic sequence highlights several modules that require students to develop imaginative solutions to environmental issues, such as fuel shortages and the need for alternative energy. Students address these issues directly through such projects as deriving biofuels from microalgal species and designing and constructing wind turbines and solar panels. These topics and experiences bring tremendous strength to a student's knowledge of and appreciation for sustainable engineering. Through Rowan University's College of Engineering Clinic sequence, engineers of the future are gaining a fundamental understanding of their role in the design and analysis of complex interacting systems, as well as discovering the importance of incorporating sustainability into engineering practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Publication series

NameASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Electronic)2153-5965


Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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