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ERIC Number: EJ1163544
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0304-3797
EISSN: N/A
Does Engineering Education Need to Engage More with the Economic and Social Aspects of Sustainability?
Fitzpatrick, John J.
European Journal of Engineering Education, v42 n6 p916-926 2017
This paper questions if engineering educators are producing engineers that are accelerating humanity along an unsustainable path. Even though technology and engineering are important drivers in trying to move humanity towards an environmentally sustainable paradigm, the paper suggests that maybe the most important levers and challenges lie in the economic and social domains. Short case studies of energy efficiency, the experience of the industrialist Ray Anderson and the authors own reflection of teaching chemical engineering students are used to highlight this. Engineering/technological innovation may not be enough and is often counteracted by the rebound effect and the current dominant neoclassical economic paradigm. The paper discusses what engineering educators can do to produce sustainability informed engineers who are better able to engage with the economic and social dimensions of sustainability. Some suggestions for engaging engineering students with the economic and social dimensions of environmental sustainability are provided. Engineers must somehow find ways, not just to influence technological levers (which are very important) but also to influence economic and social levers so that changes in economic and social behaviours can complement and facilitate technological change in moving humanity to an environmentally sustainable paradigm.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A