Higher education approaches to engender students’ environmental consciousness in electronic device design

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Ramachandran, Sivakumar
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University College Cork
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Design briefs defined by user groups and their development into prototypes or demonstrators follows well established methodologies in both academia an industry. However, the infusion of an environmental context is yet to be fully established. It is critically important that this objective is achieved, so that the products developed promote positive environmental sustenance, follow processes that identify materials that are sourced from the most ecologically appropriate sources, follow a design methodology that leads to a set of candidate solutions that are all in one way or another environmentally sound, and finally the inclusion of an ‘end of life’ path which directly identifies re-usability or safe biodegradability. This paper surveys the approaches Higher Education Institutions have taken in embedding environmentally conscious design tools, particularly related to electronics, into their students’ curricula, and an informal audit as to how well their approaches engender sustainability of engineering and design consciousness in their graduates. The paper draws on engineering, design, creativity, materials selection, innovation, product and industrial design in relation to electronics, in an otherwise broad sense. The paper also highlights examples of this approach at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, within the Irish context of environmental policy.
Engineering education , Ireland , Sustainability , Environmental policy
Ramachandran, S. (2021) ‘Higher education approaches to engender students’ environmental consciousness in electronic device design’, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June.