Engaging Students in an Integrated Solid Waste Management Program at a Higher Education Institution Presenter: Daniela Sanguino Authors: Mariana Ruiz Adriana Acevedo
A new approach to include environmental education among engineering students. Focusing on a specific area of sustainability: Solid Waste Management. Based on a series of activities to be completed by students in different semesters of the undergraduate curricula, engineering majors.
Sustainability • Human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.
Why Solid Waste Management? (Mexico) Studies on waste management: • U. Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) • U. AutónomaMetropolitana (UAM) • U. Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) Studies conclude: Recyclable materials represent more than 60% of the total waste generated.
Why Engineering Students? • Sustainability as a basic competence for engineers. • 80% product-related environmental effects: determined during product design phase, job of engineers.
Why this approach? “Sustainable development should be integrated in the engineering courses contents, rather than teaching it as a separate course.” It’s a Win-Winsituation
Main barriers: • Abstract or too broad topic • Lack of synergy among sciences ( because of curricula design) Students should be immersed in focused and regionalized sustainability projects in order to promote a meaningful and results-oriented experience.
Major Advantage of the Approach: a) Doesn’t end up as a collection of independent environmental experiences. b) Contributes from different perspectives and with diverse engineering techniques, to the solution of a single sustainability issue.
OurApproach IBERO & Solid Waste Management Program • - Recycling process • - Vermicomposting
Main Objectives Include environmental topics within different engineering courses. Teach engineering concepts with a hands-on approach through real-life applications and projects. Reduce solid waste generated on campus.
First Step The lead researcher of SWMP & professors lecturing the target courses designed the experience. Define: • Activity • Individual or work teams • Results expected • Grading criteria
Physicochemical Analyses • Students : Chemical Engineering • Physicochemical analysis of compost produced on campus
Mechanical Design • Students: Mechanical Engineering • Design of a food waste shredder
Waste quantification and characterization • Students : Industrial Engineering • Design sampling process • Evaluate recycling streams
Environmental Impact Analysis • Students in “Environmental Impact” course • Studies on waste generation, handling, recycling, and composting systems
Application of Engineering Methods • Students: Industrial engineering • Analysis of the on-site recycling process • Study work and time
StudentsFeedback “The knowledge and abilities you get from all courses of Industrial Engineering can be applied all together in a project like this (…)”
Industrial E. student: “I think that the vermicomposting recycling process can be a good business in an industrial level (…).” “I definitely support this kind of projects because of their philosophical basis, creating a sustainable world.”
Suggestions • Chose a case study that reflects the student’s reality and daily life. • Consider the engineering aspects of the case. • Think green. • Join forces. • Be time and effort realistic • Plan project objectives and grading criteria.
Conclusions • We need to find new educational strategies oriented to sustainability and environmental awareness. • Include courses (or experiences) related to sustainability in engineering curricula.