2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Integrating Sustainability into Engineering Education: Building a Pathway to Scale

Presented at Environmental Engineering Division (ENVIRON) Technical Session 2

Sustainability, including environmental and social sustainability, has been identified across all sectors, from government to industry to academia, as a critical area for action. Sustainability goals and actions, by necessity, require input from many fields, but engineers play a potentially outsized role due to the structures and products they build, and the associated choices they make. The Engineering for One Planet (EOP) initiative aims to address this challenge by ensuring all future engineers, no matter their discipline, are equipped with the skills, knowledge, understanding, and mindsets to design, build, and create in sustainable ways. Much has been achieved to date by the EOP initiative, through a process of multi-stakeholder engagement, in both understanding and piloting solutions to realize the EOP vision. However, in order to achieve the far reaching systemic changes desired, a roadmap for a Collective Impact-informed, cross-sector, collaborative initiative was developed. This roadmap leverages the approaches yielded from the recent National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded EOP Scaling for Impact Workshop, the lessons learned and results achieved from the initiative to date, and key considerations drawn from a Collective Impact approach that centers equity. This roadmap calls for stakeholders—including academia, industry, accrediting and professional organizations, community organizations, non-profits, funders, and those communities most impacted by the negative impacts of environmental and social sustainability challenges— to move beyond singular programmatic interventions, and instead work to collaboratively understand and construct coordinated solutions, to integrating sustainability into engineering education and the engineering profession. The roadmap’s call to action invites collaborators to join this initiative and engage with the roadmap as a starting point for their work together; the roadmap provides immediate action steps, and invites collaborators to further shape the roadmap into a collective, achievable plan for systems change, that they, their institutions/organizations, and other cross-sector collaborators can embrace. For systems change is never complete and the solutions not finite; it is only through ongoing, collective action that we can fully understand, and learn how to address the lack of sustainability in engineering as the complex, social problem it is.

  1. Ms. Victoria Matthew Engineering for One Planet [biography]
  2. Cynthia Anderson Alula Consulting [biography]
  3. Surbhi Godsay Lipkin-Moore Amplify Evaluation
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