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Teaching sustainable development in materials science and engineering
MRS Bulletin
  • Richard Alan Lesar, Iowa State University
  • K. C. Chen, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • D. Apelian, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Preparing the next generation of materials scientists and engineers requires more than teaching them knowledge of material properties and behaviors. Materials science and engineering must also take into account materials sustainability in the context of society and the environment, as discussed throughout this issue. Including topics such as sustainability in a materials curriculum is not new. Issues of ethics, costs, and so on have long been an integral part of our education. Although detailed treatment of all such topics cannot be included in a general materials education curriculum, the concepts of sustainable development and the role of materials in a sustainable future can be introduced. Indeed, many materials science programs are beginning to include these topics in their curricula. This article discusses three such programs that the authors have helped design and implement in the United States, each taking a different approach to engaging students in these topics. The intention is not to provide an exhaustive overview of education in sustainable development, but rather to describe a range of strategies that are currently being applied and to raise pertinent issues in materials science education.

This article is from MRS Bulletin 37 (2012): 449, doi: 10.1557/mrs.2012.9. Posted with permission.

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Materials Research Society
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Richard Alan Lesar, K. C. Chen and D. Apelian. "Teaching sustainable development in materials science and engineering" MRS Bulletin Vol. 37 Iss. 4 (2012) p. 449 - 454
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