Incorporating Sustainability and Green Design Concepts into Engineering and Technology Curricula

Radian G. Belu, Richard Chiou, Lucian Ionel Cioca, Bill Tseng


Human society is facing an uncertain future due to the present day unsustainable use of natural resources and the growing imbalance with our natural environment. Sustainability is an endeavour with uncertain outcomes requiring collaboration, teamwork, and abilities to work with respect and learn from other disciplines and professions, as well as with governments, local communities, political and civic organizations. The creation of a sustainable society is a complex and multi-stage endeavour that will dominate twenty first century.  Sustainability has four basic aspects: environment, technology, economy, and societal organization. Schools with undergraduate engineering or engineering technology programs are working to include sustainability and green design concepts into their curricula. Teaching sustainability and green design has increasingly become an essential feature of the present day engineering education. It applies to all of engineering, as all engineered systems interact with the environment in complex and important ways. Our project main goals are to provide the students with multiple and comprehensive exposures, to what it mean to have a sustainable mindset and to facilitate the development of the passion and the skills to integrate sustainable practices into engineering tools and methods. In this study we are describing our approaches to incorporating sustainability and green design into our undergraduate curricula and to list a variety of existing resources that can easily be adopted or adapted by our faculty for this purpose. Our approaches are: (1) redesigning existing courses through development of new curricular materials that still meet the objectives of the original course and (2) developing upper division elective courses that address specific topics related to sustainability, green design, green manufacturing and life-cycle assessment.



Sustainability, green design, engineering and technology, curriculum

Full Text:



Carew, A.L. and C.A. Mitchell, (2002), Characterizing undergraduate engineering student’s understanding of sustainability, European Journal of Engineering Education, 27(4), 349-361.

Maxwell, D., Van der Vorst, R., (2003), Developing sustainable products and services, J. Clean. Prod. Vol. 11, pp. 883–895.

Allen, D. T., and Shonnard, D. R. (2003). Green engineering, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 397416, 2003.

Criteria for accrediting engineering programs: Effective for evaluations during the 2010–2011 accreditation cycle, ABET, Baltimore. Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET), Inc. (2010).

ABET, Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs, (2013),

Keijzers, G., (2002), The transition to the sustainable enterprise, J. Clean. Prod. Vol. 10, pp. 349–359.

Clift, R. (2006) Sustainable development and its implications for chemical engineering, Chem Eng Sci, 61: 4179-4187.

Mulder, (2006), Engineering Curricula in Sustainable Development, An evaluation of changes at Delft University of Technology, European Journal of Engineering Education-Vol. 31, No 2, pp 133-144.

Jennings, P., (2009), New directions in renewable energy education, Renewable Energy, Vol. 34, pp. 435-439.

Walker, S, (2006), Sustainable by Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice, London: Earthscan Publications.

McNamee, G., (2008), Careers in Renewable Energy, Pixy Jack Press LLC,.

Ehrenfeld, J. (2008), Sustainability by Design, New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press

Holmberd J., et al, (2008), Embedding Sustainability in Higher Education through interaction with Lecturers: Case studies from three European Technical Universities, European Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 33(3), pp. 272-282.

Desha, C.J., Hargroves, K. and Smith, M.H., (2009), Addressing the time lag dilemma in curriculum renewal towards engineering education for sustainable development, Int J Sustain High Educ, vol. 10(2): 184–199.

Desha, C.J. and Hargroves, K., (2010), Engineering Education & Sustainable Development - A Guide for Rapid Curriculum Renewal, London, England: Earthscan.

Rosentrater, K.A., and Al-Kalaani, Y., Renewable energy alternatives – a growing opportunity for engineering and technology education, The Technology Interface, 6(1), 2006.

Belu R.G., and Koracin, D., (2010), E-learning Platform for Renewable Energy Sources, 2010 ASEEE Conference & Exposition, June 20 - 23, Louisville, Kentucky (CD Proceedings)

Belu, R.G., (2009), A Project-based Power Electronics Course with an Increased Content of Renewable Energy Applications, June 14-17, 2009 Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, Austin, Texas (CD Proceedings).

Belu R.G. (2011a), Embedding Renewable Energy into the Engineering Technology Curricula, ASEE Mid-Atlantic Sec., Fall Meeting, Philadelphia, USA, Oct. 28-29, 2011 (CD Proceedings).

Belu R.G. (2011b), Renewable Energy Based Capstone Senior Design Projects for an Undergraduate Engineering Technology Curriculum, 2011 ASEEE Conference & Exposition, June 26 - 29, Vancouver, BC, Canada (CD Proceedings).

Belu R.G. and Husanu I. (2012) Embedding Renewable Energy and Sustainability into the Engineering Technology Curricula, 2012 ASEEE Conference & Exposition, June 10 – 13, 2012, San Antonio, Texas (CD Proceedings).

Belu R.G., R. Chiou, and B. Tseng. (2013), Integrating Sustainability Concepts into Engineering and Technology Curricula, 6 th International Conference on Manufacturing Science and Education - MSE 2013 (Smart Sustainable Development), June, 12-15, 2013, Sibiu, Romania (CD Proceedings).

Belu R.G. and Husanu I., (2013) First Results with a Virtual Platform for the Renewable Energy Technology Courses, 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, USA, June 23-26, (CD Proceedings).

Chiou R. and Belu R., (2013), Incorporating Sustainability Concepts into Engineering and Technology Curriculum, ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, November 15-21, 2013, San Diego, California (CD Proceedings).

Belu R.G., R. Chiou, L. Cioca, and B. Tseng, (2014), Incorporating Sustainability and Green Design Concepts into the Engineering and Engineering Technology Curriculum and Program, 2014 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Indianapolis, USA, June 15-18, (CD Proc.).

Tseng, B., R. Chiou, P. Mandal, E.D. Smith, R. Belu, and O. Salcedo, (2014), Fusing Green Energy into Manufacturing Engineering Education to Cultivate Technical Success, 2014 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Indianapolis, USA, June 15-18, (CD Proceedings).

Belu, R.G , Chiou, R. Tseng B. and Cioca L.I., (2015), Development of a course in energy management for engineering and technology programs, 2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, USA, June 14 - 17, (CD Proceedings)

Ghete A.I., Cioca L.I. Balan, L. Bartu L. and Belu R. (2015), , The 7th International Conference of Management and Industrial Engineering, ICMIE 2015, Bucharest, Romania, October 22-24, pp. 161-166.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Journal of Education and Learning (EduLearn)
ISSN: 2089-9823, e-ISSN 2302-9277
Published by Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU) in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES).

View EduLearn Stats