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As the world population grows and global standards of living rise, there are increasing demands on the world’s resources and capacity to assimilate wastes. Engineers are tasked with accommodating the needs of increasing numbers of people and improving living conditions, and thus they are at the forefront of making decisions that will have long-term implications for the planet.  Given the finite capacity of the earth, it is recognized that engineers of the future must be trained to make decisions in such a way that our environment is preserved, social justice is promoted, and the needs of all people are provided through the global economy.

 The Center for Sustainable Engineering (CSE) is a partnership among five universities: Syracuse University (lead institution), Arizona State University, Carnegie-Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas at Austin.  Supported by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Center is dedicated to helping engineering professors update their courses and develop new ones to account for rapidly changing world conditions that are transforming the practice of engineering.  This is achieved through workshops conducted by the CSE, which provide guidance so that the impacts of engineering decisions on the environment, society, and the economy can be included in courses across the engineering curriculum.



The goal of the Center is to develop and implement activities to enhance education in Sustainable Engineering at colleges and universities around the world. A number of specific activities are planned:

  1. Workshops (2 days each) have been organized to assist faculty who wish to add Sustainable Engineering to their courses. The workshops also help these faculty improve their teaching, evaluate their courses, obtain funding for educational innovations, and become part of a growing network of educators in Sustainable Engineering.
  2. A website is being established with peer-reviewed educational materials on Sustainable Engineering. The site will be set up in cooperation with a professional society.
  3. An assessment of Sustainable Engineering programs and courses around the U.S. is being conducted to benchmark the status of education in this emerging discipline. Measures of quality in these programs will be explored and used to initiate an award program for excellence in Sustainable Engineering Education.

© 2009 Center for Sustainable Engineering