Consideration of environmental sustainability is significantly altering the nature of the mechanical design process. This necessitates integration of sustainability related learning content in design engineering curricula. Although various frameworks for teaching sustainable design exist, a survey conducted among practicing student engineers shows the presence of significant knowledge gaps. To this end, we propose a problem-based framework for contextualizing sustainability assessment within design engineering curricula. Our framework makes it possible for embedding sustainability related concepts within traditional engineering courses and promotes discovery learning among students by means of design exploration. We illustrate our approach using a shape synthesis task that integrates environmental assessment into design by constraining the decision space for domain specific variables. Results from a user survey for analyzing the effects of our framework show its ability to promote both awareness and applicability of sustainable design concepts as well as its potential for use in existing engineering curricula.
Devarajan Ramanujan, William Z. Bernstein, Monica Cardella, Karthik Ramani
Contextualizing Environmental Sustainability in Design Engineering Curricula
ASME IDETC/CIE 2014