Teaching Sustainable Engineering Throughout the Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

ASME 2008 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


The natural world has long been impacted by technological society; however, in recent years environmental impacts and constraints are increasingly on the global, rather than local or regional, scale. Moreover, the interconnectivity of biological systems with energy and material flows is increasingly evident. Today, it is well understood that climate change, energy constraints and biological degradation are largely a consequence of technological production and energy use. In this context, one would expect engineering education to have evolved to prepare engineers to be capable of addressing these issues. Rather, excluding the resurgence in design education, we see a curriculum that remains largely unchanged. In this context, we propose an integrated mechanical engineering curriculum that emphasizes sustainable engineering and whole-system design. The curriculum provides mechanical engineering students with a deeper understanding of the broader impact of the products and processes they design, the tools to assess that impact, and the system level thinking to design technologies for a sustainable future.

Inclusive pages





Permission documentation is on file.


American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Place of Publication

Boston, MA

Peer Reviewed