The EASTlab has created engineering sustainability courses, programs, co-curricular organizations, and a center of excellence that, together, have touched over 5000 students in its first 15 years.
Sustainability Engineering Principles
This course provides the fundamental tools and concepts of sustainable engineering, permitting students to analyze engineering projects from the perspective of the “triple bottom line”. The “triple bottom line” emphasizes social and environmental factors in addition to economic factors (the single “bottom line”). The course covers engineering decision-making, air and water pollutants, modeling of environmental pollutant concentrations, engineering economics, social considerations, pollution prevention, resource conservation, environmental life cycle assessment, human and eco-toxicity, life cycle costing, and energy systems. These concepts are applied in case studies covering the design of systems that minimize environmental impact considering local, regional, and global scales.
Sustainable Design of Technology Systems
Sustainable design education will happen on two parallel tracks that are meant to enhance each other: on one track, students learn a sustainable design process and tools/concepts related to environmental sustainability; on the other track, students practice sustainable design by executing a team project within which they apply the tools/concepts learned in class. Students bring their out-of-class term project work to the in-class discussions to enrich their learning of sustainability concepts, tools, and design processes. As a result the term project provides the necessary context to more deeply and lastingly internalize how to design technology systems through the lens of sustainability. The design project is open ended and is to be co-created with the student team so that each student can use his/her unique background to contribute to the topic.
Click to find out more details about these courses, such as the specific topics covered and the instruction format.
Program in Sustainable Engineering
The Program in Sustainable Engineering offers a unique specialization that allows undergraduate engineering students to take 9-credit hours focused on sustainability to earn the notation "Specialized Study in Sustainable Engineering" on their transcript. Over 150 students have enrolled in the program during its first two years. See PROGRAM IN SUSTAINABLE ENGINEERING.
Engineering Sustainable Systems Program
Launched in the fall of 2007, the dual degree confers a master of science (M.S.) degree from the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) and a master of science in engineering (M.S.E.) from the College of Engineering (CoE). See ENGINEERING SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS PROGRAM.
BLUElab's mission is to develop a community of students who serve society and the environment through the practice of sustainable design. BLUElab guides about a dozen project teams per term through a human-centered sustainable design process. Each team works with stakeholders to address identified needs. Areas of focus include water accessibility, solar technology, resource management in homes, anaerobic digestion, engineering education, and wind powered technology. Each project team works with a partner community in Ann Arbor or internationally, for example in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, India, or Nicaragua. We offer students the opportunity to hone their inter and intrapersonal skills, engage in social responsibility, participate in an interactive design experience, and develop as servant leaders. Visit the BLUElab website for more.
Research and Education Centers
Center for Socially Engaged Design
CSED engages in research advancing the study of context within technology design and will educate all CoE students to consider human, cultural, economic, and environmental factors when designing technology. Visit the CSED website for more.