Walking the walk; meaningfully engaging people with engineering challenges

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dc.contributor.author McGookin, Connor
dc.contributor.author Ó Gallachóir, Brian P.
dc.contributor.author Byrne, Edmond P.
dc.date.accessioned 2021-08-05T11:01:58Z
dc.date.available 2021-08-05T11:01:58Z
dc.date.issued 2021-06-14
dc.identifier.citation McGookin, C., Ó Gallachóir, B. P. and Byrne, E. P. (2021) ‘Walking the walk; meaningfully engaging people with engineering challenges’, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June. en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 8 en
dc.identifier.issn 2737-7741
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11669
dc.description.abstract Barriers to the development of renewable energy generally involve non-technical as well as technical challenges, that are dynamic and context dependent. In the case of opposition to large-scale wind energy and overhead transmission lines for example, existing research reveals a complex and diverse range of conditions that shape public perception. However, conventional engineering practices tend to focus on least cost techno-economic evaluation methods such as cost benefit analysis. Here we use the case study example of Ireland’s North-South interconnector project to demonstrate how a narrow focus on techno- economic analysis resulted in failure to adequately incorporate broader socio-political considerations. It demonstrates that the primarily technocentric worldview, which largely pervades engineering teaching and practices, can cause tensions and inertia, slowing the rate of progress along the low carbon transition. This, we argue, points to the need for a cultural / ethos change in engineering education and practice. Engineers should be encouraged and educated to broaden their perspectives and take a more reflective / pragmatic approach to engineering challenges that embraces the diversity of worldviews within our society. We hypothesise that the clear (and necessary) emphasis within engineering curricula on solving purely technical / mathematical problems may foster a reductionist hubris in engineering practice. To address this, contemporary fit-for-purpose curricula necessitate the inclusion of coursework that considers broader societal complexities, including so-called ‘wicked problems’ such as infrastructure projects, which involve placing engineering solutions in broader societal contexts. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.relation.ispartof EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference
dc.relation.uri https://www.eesd2020.org/
dc.relation.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11459
dc.rights © 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Engineering education en
dc.subject Sustainability en
dc.subject Renewable energy en
dc.subject Engineering curricula en
dc.title Walking the walk; meaningfully engaging people with engineering challenges en
dc.type Conference item en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Connor McGookin, Engineering, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: connor.mcgookin@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.internal.conferencelocation Cork, Ireland en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress connor.mcgookin@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress e.byrne@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress b.ogallachoir@ucc.ie en


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© 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
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