Using module-based learning methods to introduce sustainable manufacturing in engineering curriculum

Debalina Sengupta (Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)
Yinlun Huang (Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Cliff I. Davidson (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA)
Thomas F. Edgar (McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA)
Mario R. Eden (Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA)
Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi (Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Publication date: 6 March 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable manufacturing may be defined as the creation of manufactured products that use processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy and natural resources, and are economically sound and safe for employees, communities and consumers. Recently, there have been several industrial and governmental endeavors to launch sustainable manufacturing initiatives. To support such initiatives and to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, academic institutions have a responsibility to introduce educational programs and tools in the area of sustainable manufacturing. The purpose of this paper is to report on the approach, progress and contributions of a US National Science Foundation-sponsored project titled: “The Sustainable Manufacturing Advances in Research and Technology Coordination Network (SMART CN)”.

Design/methodology/approach

The project aims to bridge the gap between the academic knowledge discovery and industrial technology innovation for sustainable manufacturing. Toward this goal, various research and educational activities have been undertaken to introduce Sustainable Manufacturing Case Studies for use by academic instructors to a diverse group of undergraduate, graduate and industry professionals.

Findings

In this paper, the need for education on sustainable manufacturing has been focused upon, followed by approaches toward addressing these needs, concluding with examples of case studies developed through the SMART-CN project framework.

Originality/value

This work provides the engineering community with structured modules for introducing the topic of sustainable manufacturing in the curriculum.

Keywords

Citation

Debalina Sengupta, Yinlun Huang, Cliff I. Davidson, Thomas F. Edgar, Mario R. Eden and Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi (2017) "Using module-based learning methods to introduce sustainable manufacturing in engineering curriculum", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 307-328

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-05-2015-0100

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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