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The COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need to train engineers aligned to the sustainable development goals

Rosley Anholon (School of Mechanical Engineering, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Izabela Simon Rampasso (PNPD/CAPES Program, Doctoral Program in Sustainable Management Systems, Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, Brazil and School of Mechanical Engineering, State University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil)
Diogo A.L. Silva (Department of Production Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, Sorocaba, Brazil)
Walter Leal Filho (School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK and Faculty of Life Sciences, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany)
Osvaldo Luiz Gonçalves Quelhas (Master Program in Management Systems, and Doctoral Program in Sustainable Management Systems, Federal Fluminense University, Niterói, Brazil)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 14 August 2020

Issue publication date: 5 September 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Considering the requirements of sustainable development regarding professionals training and the challenges evidenced during Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, this study aims to contribute to the debates regarding the need to insert sustainability into engineering education in the current context.

Design/methodology/approach

For this, the literature about sustainability in engineering education was considered, and the need for sustainability insertion in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was debated. It is important to emphasize that this debate was based on the authors’ experience regarding sustainability research and teaching.

Findings

The current moment unveiled companies’ financial management problems, constantly evidenced by media. In this sense, the interest of engineering students in business management may lead them to believe that companies’ survival depends only on financial aspects, neglecting environmental and social aspects. This study is characterized as a reminder to academic staff in the field of engineering to continue valuing the principles of sustainable development with their students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originality/value

The need to make engineering students understand the importance of social projects in the current period is emphasized. The training of professionals to consider all the sustainability aspects even during crisis moments is evidenced now and should be used as a learning lesson for the future.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) under Grants 307536/2018-1, 302722/2019-0 and 305442/2018-0; and by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001, under process 88887.464433/2019-00.

Citation

Anholon, R., Rampasso, I.S., Silva, D.A.L., Leal Filho, W. and Quelhas, O.L.G. (2020), "The COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need to train engineers aligned to the sustainable development goals", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 21 No. 6, pp. 1269-1275. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-06-2020-0217

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited