Teaching sustainable design through simultaneous evaluation of economics and environmental impacts

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Yenkie, Kirti M.
Chea, John D.
Aboagye, Emmanuel A.
Savelski, Mariano J.
Slater, C. Stewart
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University College Cork
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The ever-increasing human population and industrial growth have posed a considerable burden on existing resources and have led to an increase in environmental pollution and climate change. The Engineering Clinics offered at the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering at Rowan University is the hallmark of our program that enables our undergraduate students to actively participate in solving real-world problems through collaborative activities. Our graduate students get an opportunity to engage in stakeholder (i.e., industries, federal and regional funding agencies) interactions and student mentoring in conjunction with developing their research ability. Thus, through these synergistic undergraduate-graduate-faculty- stakeholder collaborations this work envisions to develop awareness about sustainable design and environmental impact in the community. The clinic problems include; (i) solvent recovery in process industries, and (ii) systematic synthesis of wastewater treatment (WWT) networks. These problems are important because imprudent use of industrial solvents and water resources have exacerbated the challenges relating to availability, quality as well as safe disposal of harmful solvents and wastewater. Through these challenging and relevant problems, we can teach our students multiple skills such as information collection, selective extraction of valuable content, economic and sustainability evaluation of multiple pathways through mathematical modeling, computer programming, technical writing, and presentation. The overall impact of these efforts is evident in the peer-reviewed conference and journal publications, oral and poster presentations at regional and national conferences, as well as our students choosing careers which value sustainability.
Engineering education , Sustainability , Stakeholder collaborations , Engineering clinics , Design engineering
Yenkie, K. M., Chea, J. D., Aboagye, E. A., Savelski, M. J. and Stewart Slater, C. (2021) ‘Teaching sustainable design through simultaneous evaluation of economics and environmental impacts’, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June.