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Embedding sustainability into chemical engineering education: Content development and competency mapping

Sheenan, M., Desha, C., Schneider, P. and Turner, P. (2012) Embedding sustainability into chemical engineering education: Content development and competency mapping. In: Quality of Life Through Chemical Engineering (CHEMECA) 2012, 23-26 September 2012, The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand

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Abstract

Sustainability has recently become an important component of chemical engineering educational practice and pedagogy. Recent evidence of this movement are the enhanced Engineers Australia (EA) competencies focussed in this area as well as changes in IChemE's McNab-Lacey student design prize selection criteria to emphasise sustainability. Over the past three years JCU Chemical Engineering, funded through a curriculum refresh program, has been trialing an approach to embed sustainability into the four year undergraduate chemical engineering degree program. Elements in the approach used by the authors have included aligned attribute definition, attribute mapping and content development. Parallel to these developments are facilitators of change that include research alignment and staff professional development. In this paper the authors describe briefly the development of generic sustainability attributes and the mapping of these attributes to the four year program, details of which are expanded on in Sheehan et al (2012). This paper describes the process of alignment of the JCU sustainability attributes to the newly developed Engineers Australia professional engineer stage 1 competencies, facilitated by the identification of sustainability related subject learning outcomes. A selection of newly developed content in a core chemical engineering subject (energy balances and introduction to design) and its alignment to the attributes will be described. This paper discusses methods used to identify gaps in current norms and brainstorm new content and skills for embedding within future chemical engineering programs.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/38205
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