A new course in materials engineering has been developed to incorporate industrial design and sustainability principles. Many current engineering tasks require the ability to comprehend and consider the complicated interplay of technology with the environment and society. Thus the changing skill set required of future engineers is being reflected in the changes with our courses. We are stepping beyond the traditional boundaries of engineering courses to present a more holistic approach to problem solving. The use of materials and processing techniques is applied to product design, and thus involves consideration of the end user and the end of product life. Green engineering and cradle to cradle design principles are also introduced in the course. Outcomes for this class include students being able to employ systems thinking, to formulate creative design solutions, and to select the appropriate materials and processing for minimal environmental impact.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kcchen/2/