Sustainable development for Design Engineering Students: A peer assisted problem based learning approach
Editors: Boks, C., McMahon, C. and Ion, W.
Publisher: The Design Society
Place of Publication: Glasgow, United Kingdom
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The Engineering Council's UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence explicitly incorporates sustainable development (SD) encouraging engineers to take a leadership role and goes beyond "eco-design" to include social and cultural aspects. This is reflected by the Royal Academy of Engineering describing a "new integrative principle, not a new set of skills". To provide first and second year Design Engineering students with an understanding of SD a primer was developed from the ongoing research incorporating the concept of "social-usefulness". A problem based learning approach was adopted with no didactic element. Instead, students learned through investigation, presentation, discussion and reflective learning with both sets of students working together. Data indicated a change in perception of SD with understanding of the complexity evident. Providing the course early in the students' education enables aspects learned to be developed in future study; Learning so gained becomes normal practice when the graduate enters the profession and contributes to improved design practices and future sustainability in an ever more demanding environment.