Business and Professional Practices
Full Session with Abstracts
Over the past decade, faculty at U.S. universities have experienced an increased student demand and professional need for sustainability education. While this topic has emerged within civil engineering curricula, in many cases, these faculty members have little to no formal education on sustainability. This presents a challenge that many faculty are simultaneously overcoming via various approaches to self-teaching and then integrating sustainability content within civil engineering courses and curricula.
In response to the importance of sustainability in the curricula, and considering recent revisions to the ASCE Code of Ethics and ABET requirements with respect to sustainability, faculty at the University of Delaware Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have piloted and adopted various approaches to integrating sustainability concepts and content within their curriculum. Over time, these have evolved to include: incorporating sustainability related problems and examples within existing conventional required courses, introducing two new courses that are focused on sustainability concepts and serve as technical electives, developing a minor in Sustainable Infrastructure, and an in-progress innovative large-scale curriculum revision that is expected to infuse sustainability content throughout all four years of a civil engineering student’s education and require a minimum of one formal course on the topic.
The goal of this presentation will be to provide the audience with differing practical approaches to incorporating sustainability content in a civil engineering curriculum. A wide variety of approaches will be introduced on a range of scales, which consequently require a range of level of effort and coordination. These include single examples that can be included in structural engineering courses, stand-alone courses, to more significant curriculum changes. Pros, cons, related constraints, and lessons learned from implementing these various approaches will also be shared with the audience. The ultimate goal of this transfer of knowledge is to ease the transition to incorporating more sustainability content for other faculty interested in this topic. By achieving this goal, it is expected that the benefits of this session can be extended beyond the audience to students, and thus the profession and society at large given the potential impact civil engineers can make on this topic.