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On a Vision to Educating Students in Sustainability and Design—The James Madison University School of Engineering Approach

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  • Robert L. Nagel

    () (School of Engineering, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA)

  • Eric C. Pappas

    () (School of Engineering, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA)

  • Olga Pierrakos

    () (School of Engineering, James Madison University, 801 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA)

Abstract

In order for our future engineers to be able to work toward a sustainable future, they must be versed not only in sustainable engineering but also in engineering design. An engineering education must train our future engineers to think flexibly and to be adaptive, as it is unlikely that their future will have them working in one domain. They must, instead, be versatilists. The School of Engineering at James Madison University has been developed from the ground up to provide this engineering training with an emphasis on engineering design, systems thinking, and sustainability. Neither design nor sustainability are mutually exclusive, and consequently, an education focusing on design and sustainability must integrate these topics, teaching students to follow a sustainable design process. This is the goal of the James Madison University School of Engineering. In this paper, we present our approach to curricular integration of design and sustainability as well as the pedagogical approaches used throughout the curriculum. We do not mean to present the School’s model as an all or nothing approach consisting of dependent elements, but instead as a collection of independent approaches, of which one or more may be appropriate at another university.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert L. Nagel & Eric C. Pappas & Olga Pierrakos, 2011. "On a Vision to Educating Students in Sustainability and Design—The James Madison University School of Engineering Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 1-20, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:4:y:2011:i:1:p:72-91:d:15463
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nigel Roome, 2005. "Teaching sustainability in global MBA: insights from the OneMBA," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14309, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainable design process; engineering education; curriculum development; pedagogy; sustainable values; individual behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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