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6th International Conference in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD13)

last modified Apr 09, 2015 12:45 PM
6th International Conference in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD13)

Rethinking the Engineer

Over 160 participants from 24 countries gathered last week at Robinson College for the 6th International Conference in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD13).

The conference was hosted and organised by the Department's Centre for Sustainable  Development and was opened with addresses from both Professor Dame Ann Dowling and Professor Robert Mair. The theme for the 4 days was "Rethinking the Engineer". In total 84 papers were presented on all aspects of teaching engineering students about issues relating to sustainable development, and current best practice and ideas for novel teaching strategies were shared. The Conference hosted plenary sessions from Professor Paul Jowitt (former President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Heriot Watt University) who gave the conference Key Note address, Lord Browne of Maddingley, Professor Ellen Williams (Chief Scientist for BP),  Professor John Robinson  from  the University of British Colombia, Professor Nick Ashford from MIT and Professor Zaini Bin Ujang (Secretary of Education in Malaysia). In addition a panel discussion with engineers from industry provided a useful insight into the skills required by employers in graduate engineers.

In the closing session there was a moving reflection on the life of  Professor Leo Jansen from the Netherlands, who sadly died last year and who was the originator of the series in 2002 and a strong supporter of all the previous events in the  series, from his son Leon. The Leo Jansen Prize for the best paper and conference presentation was awarded to Rikke Premer Petersen from Aalborg University in Denmark for her paper on: " The potential role of design in a susatinable engineering profile". The Conference dinner was held in Pembroke College where even a poem to the  pros and cons of HS2 was given in response to a challenge thrown out by Professor Jowitt earlier in the week.

For further details and access to the Conference Provceedings see the Conference website at  http://www-eesd13.eng.cam.ac.uk/

Photo Credit: Pieter Nixon

Key Themes of the Course

Context

The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.

Perspectives

An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions

Change

An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.

Tools

An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.

 

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