Engineering as a profession unquestionably contributes to the welfare of humanity, yet it is becoming more and more evident that the standard engineering curriculum, a product of the post-World War II era, is no longer optimal for the globally competitive, entrepreneurial firms of the knowledge economy. Further, as engineered systems become more widespread and increasingly coupled with cultural and natural systems, the impacts of new technologies become more unpredictable. Engineering in such a complex and rapidly changing environment requires engineers that are increasingly sophisticated with respect to the challenges of sustainability and complex adaptive systems. Thus, an educational system appropriate for the Anthropocene (the "Age of the Human") is one that builds adaptive capacity into the curriculum itself as well as its graduates. This chapter suggests that a framework-a sustainable engineering method-might facilitate the evolution of engineering education and constitute a structure for imparting competencies to students that will prove valuable and relevant in the twenty-first century. Though it cannot address all issues surrounding engineering education and is therefore not a comprehensive solution, it is meant to serve as a reference for educators as they conscientiously design each curriculum to meet the needs of students, their future employers, and the world at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Sustainable Engineering
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781402089398
ISBN (Print)9781402089381
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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