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Integrating Sustainable Design and Systems Thinking throughout an Engineering Curriculum

Integrating Sustainable Design and Systems Thinking throughout an Engineering Curriculum
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Author(s): Robert L. Nagel (James Madison University, USA), Kyle G. Gipson (James Madison University, USA) and Adebayo Ogundipe (James Madison University, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 18
Source title: Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ken D. Thomas (Auburn University, USA) and Helen E. Muga (University of Mount Union, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5856-1.ch007

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Abstract

The Madison Engineering Department was founded on the recognition that engineers are no longer constrained to disciplinary boundaries, and instead, must work across disciplines as members of global communities and multidisciplinary teams. The program offers a single undergraduate engineering degree that focuses on sustainable design and systems thinking. Since the inaugural class started in 2008, the faculty has been striving to integrate environmental, social, economic, and technical contexts of sustainable design and systems thinking as common curricular threads. This chapter discusses courses taken by students freshman through senior year to illustrate how content integration, developmental instruction, and a problem-based learning framework are used in Madison Engineering Department to purposefully transition students through Bloom's levels from knowing and thinking to simulating and doing to quantifying and applying with the goal of training students able to understand systems holistically, describe and analyze tradeoffs, understand resultant perturbations, and design effective, sustainable solutions.

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