Harnessing the Environmental Professional Expertise of Engineering Students-The Course: "Environmental Management Systems in the Industry"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

More and more technical universities now advocate integrating sustainability in higher education and including it as a strategic goal for improving education's quality and relevance to society. This study examines 30 fourth-year chemical engineering students, graduates of a university course designed to combine their terminological domain with sustainability-oriented goals, focusing on topics like corporate sustainability, developing environmental policy, introduction to ISO 14001-Environmental Management Systems (EMS), and environmental legislation. The study explores their perception of industrial-environmental issues and asks-How did the study unit influence the students' ability to use their preexisting scientific knowledge, while relating to industrial-environmental issues? Our findings indicate that engineering students can develop industrial-environmental awareness, and make use of interdisciplinary knowledge beyond that strictly related to the realm of engineering. Regarding the research's particular aim-i. e. determining the study unit's influence on students' ability to relate industrial-environmental issues to their own field of engineering-the findings indeed show a change in the students' conceptions of environmental elements related to industry. The course graduates became more attentive to the environmental aspects associated with building and opening a factory, and the concepts they raised in connection with the topic gained in variety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-545
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Science Education and Technology
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Engineering education
  • Environmental literacy
  • Environmental management systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering (all)

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