Staff and student perspectives on embedding sustainability into the engineering curriculum

Roger Penlington, Jenna Tudor, Noel Perera

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Recognising that sustainability is an important concept within engineering this paper describes a project run by a team of academics which sought to investigate how engineering students viewed sustainability, what role they perceived it to hold in their work, and how they felt it should be incorporated into their education. Students and academics acted as equal stakeholders in the project with the students coming from a range of backgrounds including undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Mechanical Engineering, Product Design, Electrical Power Engineering and Multidisciplinary Design Innovation. The investigation sought to understand student and staff perceptions of how the university approached the concept of engineering education for sustainable development into the curricula. An additional aim of the research and activities of the project was to contribute to influencing how sustainability may contribute to engineering curriculum change within UK higher education. The activities conducted by the project team demonstrated that students and staff currently have an awareness, yet a limited understanding, of sustainability. Students strongly felt that sustainability was a key part of an engineer’s role and responsibilities. The findings recognized scope for concepts of sustainability to be more effectively included it in the curriculum for engineers adding many opportunities for imaginative pedagogies. It is proposed that students should also be encouraged to generate their own conceptions of sustainability and globalization and participate in discussions around these to ensure personal engagement with them. The project outcome generated valuable material which could support communication and dialogue about sustainability to support the education of global engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2013
EventEngineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference 2013 - Cambridge
Duration: 22 Sept 2013 → …


ConferenceEngineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference 2013
Period22/09/13 → …


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