ISEE 2010 Launch Presentation. Fit for Purpose – Designing the 21 st Century Engineer . John Fitzpatrick, Edmond Byrne & Kevin Cronin. 3 rd International Symposium for Engineering Education. Symposium Chair: Ed Byrne Symposium co-Chairs: Kevin Cronin
Fit for Purpose –
Designing the 21st Century Engineer
John Fitzpatrick, Edmond Byrne & Kevin Cronin
Symposium Chair: Ed Byrne
Symposium co-Chairs: Kevin Cronin
Dermot Brabazon (DCU)
Apart from the launch of ISEE 2010,
the twin aim of this presentation is thus to initiate a
conversation within Engineering at UCC on the issue of
embedding sustainability on our programmes,
and to gauge potential interest in this concept.
ISEE 2010 [K. Cronin]
Classic definition of Sustainable Development:
“meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
These systems are inherently unsustainable in the long-term as
1) non-renewable resources will eventually be depleted and
2) wastes will eventually change the natural environment to such an extent that it will no longer be able to sustain the existence of large numbers of people.
They are interlinked and
Overall, fossil fuels still supply most of our energy.
This is unsustainable in the long-term.
Modules incorporating elements of sustainability on core programme:
PE1003 Introduction to Process & Chemical Engineering
PE3008 Safety and Environmental Protection I
PE4001 Process Design and Feasibility Analysis
PE4004 Safety and Environmental Protection II
PE4006 Design Project
From 2010/11 – Incorporating an Energy and Environmental stream for students who choose this option, which includes:
CE3016 Sustainable Energy
NE40XX Biomass, Geothermal & Solar Energy
PE30ZZ Sustainability in Process Engineering
Should the module on ‘Sustainability in Process Engineering’ become a CORE module?
Should we embed sustainability concepts throughout OTHER MODULES, and if so, how? e.g. embed Life Cycle Assessment into the Design Project!
Given that these are questions common to all engineering disciplines, should a sustainability informed ethos be embedded across ALL OUR ENGINERING PROGRAMMES AT UCC and if so, HOW?
..And we have but 21 years to do it.” Beddington, 2009
The world in which engineers practice. ..where do we stand today?
There is ‘a significant risk that many of the trends will accelerate.’ Copenhagen, 2009
“I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen. We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California. I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going.” Chu, 2009
“It is possible to reach a kind of knowledge which will be of the utmost use to men ..and thereby make ourselves thelords and possessors of nature.”René Descartes, 1638
Definition of Engineering:“The art ofdirectingthe great sources of power innature for the use and convenience of man.” Thomas Tredgold, 1828
severe weather events
sea level rise
“The human species is on a brutal collision course with its natural environment” Pereira, 2009
The problem with ongoing unsustainability
is that,like vehicle with ongoing lack of control, it is destined to eventually crash! …unless a brake is applied in timely fashion.
This manifests itself in a “Throw-Away” Philosophy.
There is now a clear need to develop a
“Water – that’ll be the next war over water!”
“Look at your curricula and ask if they help address our social problems. We must reform undergraduate engineering. Our universities have let the profession and society down. ..Doing nothing is not an option!”
Prof. David Wood, Opening Plenary, World Congress of Chemical Engineering, Montréal, August 2009
From sustainability being a constraint on professional practice to being its verycontext.
A new engineering paradigm to be fit for purpose for the 21st Century!
Recognise role in resolution of‘wicked’problems frommany possible outcomes,as well asunique optimisation solutions to ‘tame’ well defined problems.
Thenewengineer/Thenew modelengineer/engage inpostnormal science
From narrow role as‘value neutral’ paid handswho arefacilitators oftechno-economicdevelopment, to a wider role envisaging the broader societal and ecological context, working inmulti-disciplinaryteams, and seeking topromote change“to make the world a better place”.
ABET, 2007: “an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.”
..to being the context of engineering practice
1997 Joint Conference on Engineering Education and Training for Sustainable Development, Paris:
Sustainability should be “integrated into engineering education, at all levels from foundation courses to ongoing projects and research”
Professional engineering institutions need to “adopt accreditation policies that require the integration of sustainability in engineering teaching”.
2007: IChemE Roadmap for 21st Century Chemical Engineering
2007: RAE: Engineering for Sustainable Development: Guiding Principles
2001: Melbourne Communiqué
2007: Engineers Australia Sustainability Charter:
“sustainable development should be at the heart of mainstream policy and administration in all areas of human endeavour”.
..“requires a fundamental change in the way that resources are used and in the way that social decisions are made”.
throughout BE programme modules?
(VCM) (Bi, 2005)
Questions that could/should be asked:What do we do with vinyl chloride?
Does this entity really need to be produced?
Question asked:Design a process to produce vinyl chloride?
Are there other (less unsustainable) materials that could be produced instead? PLA?
How feasible is it to produce plastics from renewable materials as opposed to oil?
What are the technical and economic barriers to this?
Imperial Coll. London UCC*
(Alpay et al, 2008) (2009)
What personal aspiration motivatedyour decision to become anengineer most?
*estimate based on show of hands during Orientation 2009
Might Engineering at UCC accept the thesis presented?
If so, how could this be moved forward among our programmes, particularly in the context of the new school?
Perhaps ISEE 2010 can provide some ideas and/or space for reflection?...
3rd International Symposium for Engineering Education
Previous Symposia held at Dublin City University (2007, 2008).
Next one expected to be at The University of Sheffield (2012)
Educating Engineers for a Changing World
Leading transformation from an unsustainable global society
The International Advisory Panel includes 60 members from 13 countries and includes members from all Engineering disciplines at UCC.
We intend that this will be a significantinternationalSymposium in the area of Engineering Education, particularly in relation to the theme of the Symposium.
We also intend that, as an event that concerns all of Engineering, that it can help bring the constituent parts of the school closer together.
Initial Abstract Submission Deadline 30th November 2009
(N.B. Abstracts only required initially)
Notification of Acceptance of Abstracts 1st February 2010
Submission of Full Paper 29th March 2010
Peer reviewed feedback from papers 10th May 2010
Formal submission of final paper 24th May 2010
Final Registration Date 4th June 2010
ISEE 2010 1st -2nd July 2010*
*Welcome reception and book launch on Wednesday evening, 30th June.