Engineering education for sustainable development: The European Project Semester approach
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Contribution: An analysis of the extent to which sustainability is present in the syllabi, project briefs, report templates, and student final reports of the three Iberian European project semester (EPS) providers, over a five-year period. Background: EPS is a one-semester capstone project framework that adopts project-based learning and multicultural, multidisciplinary teamwork. Educating engineers for sustainable development requires fostering critical and ethical thinking and a desire for equity, solidarity and preservation of natural resources, and cultural and genetic diversity. Existing engineering capstone design programs emphasize solving real world problems, hands-on training, and soft skills, but few focus on sustainability aspects of engineering design. The three Iberian EPS providers adopt project-based learning and teamwork methodologies, promoting the development of transversal skills and addressing sustainability in a multicultural and multidisciplinary background. Intended Outcomes: To show that the three Iberian EPS providers follow these recommendations and contribute to raising students’ awareness of sustainable development. Application Design: The proposed sustainability learning assessment method collects evidence from syllabi, project briefs, report templates, and final reports to extract faculty and student perspectives. The sustainability-related terms collected were processed into word cloud format, allowing a simple and intuitive interpretation of students’ understanding of sustainability, and in co-occurrence network format, to understand if sustainability has a pervasive or confined presence within the reports. Findings: Iberian EPS faculty and students are aware of the social, economic, and environmental impact of their projects, in terms of quality of life, social responsibility, the use of resources, and environmentally friendly technology.
CitationDuarte, A. [et al.]. Engineering education for sustainable development: The European Project Semester approach. "IEEE transactions on education", 16 Juliol 2019.