Tech Joins the Center for Sustainable Engineering

A federally funded center dedicated to raising awareness and improving education of sustainable engineering practices now counts Georgia Tech among its members.

Created by The National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2005, the Center for Sustainable Engineering (CSE) is charged with assisting engineering educators in the transition to a new engineering paradigm based upon the concept of sustainability.

One such service is the CSE Electronic Library. There, educators may freely access or submit peer-reviewed educational modules connected to sustainable engineering practices. They can also review the CSE's assessment of sustainable engineering programs and courses in the United States. In the future, these measures of quality will be used to recognize programs of excellence in sustainable engineering education.

Two Georgia Tech faculty members helped found the Center and continue to serve on its Executive Board. Professor John Crittenden, director of the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems, is an accomplished expert in waste management, pollution prevention, and sustainable and environmental engineering. Associate Professor Yongsheng Chen, in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, is an expert in environmental implications of nanotechnology and sustainable biofuels.

Other faculty with ties to the CSE include Associate Professors Valerie Thomas in the School of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Adjo Amekudzi in the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering, who have participated in workshops that provide assistance to engineering educators who want to and sustainable engineering content to their curriculum, learn effective ways to teach sustainability, or obtain funding for educational innovations. University partners include Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Arizona State University.

As the global population grows and standards of living improve, there will be increasing stress on the planet's limited resources. Future generations of engineers will face pressures to use these resources more efficiently, while at the same time satisfying an ever-increasing demand for goods and services. To prepare for these challenges, engineers will need to understand the impact of their decisions on built and natural systems, as well as be adept at working closely with planners, decision makers, and the general public. Sustainable engineering emphasizes these and related issues.

"The CSE is a tremendous resource for Georgia Tech to share with the world its leading advances in sustainable engineering education, and to learn from others," Crittenden said. "I encourage all faculty to take advantage of everything the CSE has to offer."

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.