ME 489 Sustainable Engineering and Design
This course offers students the ability to understand the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability as they pertain to engineering design, as well as the ability to speak professionally about environmental and sustainability issues. Students also leave the class with the ability to perform streamlined life cycle assessments, EcoAudits, carbon/ water/ energy footprints, economic assessments, and mass and energy balances.
This course examines processes of front-end of design, including opportunity discovery, problem definition, developing mechanisms to gather data from users and other stakeholders, translating user data into design requirements, creating innovative solutions during concept generation, representing design ideas, and evaluating possible solutions. The strategies taught in the course are based on successful methods experts use to achieve design success, and are supplemented by readings on practice and research demonstrating their success. The major focus of the course is learning how to discover and refine design problems and opportunities and solution ideas based on users, stakeholders, and contexts to increase the likelihood of design success and sustained adoption. Students explore and apply theories and approaches of engineering and engineering design, as well as understand how design approaches span multiple disciplines. Coursework focuses on applications of the front-end design strategies in various contexts.