The Science Seminar Series: September 9, 2010
Educating Engineers/Scientists for Sustainable Development
Abdol R. Chini, Ph.D., P.E.
Director and Professor
Rinker School of Building Construction
University of Florida- Gainesville, FL
Student Union Theater
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
In the last three decades, the environmental movement toward sustainability in industrialized countries has motivated researchers and industry coalitions to seek ways to minimize the negative environmental impacts of the built environment and find ways to build green. Education and training are essential components in the dynamics of environmental protection, especially in science and engineering. In the higher education, a university culture should be created with a core philosophy of environmental stewardship, sustainable development, and critical examination of all activities in light of their environmental impacts. This requires an environmentally knowledgeable faculty, a research program that develops clean, resource efficient technologies with low environmental impacts, and a university with a small ecological footprint. Educating a new generation of scientists, engineers, and technologist with highly developed knowledge of the environment and natural systems and their contributions to human well-being is an essential element of environmental sustainability. This presentation reviews the fundamental concepts of sustainability that should be integrated with the engineering and science education. Several strategies used in the University of Florida to integrate principles of sustainable development are discussed to provide an example of what can be used in other universities.