sustainability-05-00372 (1).pdf

Least occasionally in their work but that only half

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least occasionally in their work, but that only half of them believe they possess enough competences to make decisions from a sustainability perspective. It was concluded that industry demands a broader range of competences in sustainable development in engineers than what is currently provided in engineering education, and that the quantity, coverage and the level of integration in an educational program affect strongly how students perceive sustainable development and the importance they place on it. These results are qualitatively consistent those reported in this article, and exhibit many quantitative similarities. Also, the present results, although different in scope and purpose, mirror some of those presented by Svanström et al. [55] in a discussion of experiences in embedding sustainability in engineering education. 9. Conclusions There appears to be a strong focus on the implementation of sustainability concepts, actions and measures in engineering, by both individual engineers and engineering corporations. The results of an extensive survey suggest that about two-thirds of practicing engineers have worked on sustainable products and processes, and more than half of engineering students are involved with sustainable design in their studies. The large number of engineers involved with sustainability practices suggests that engineers and their companies are finding increasing ways to quantify the general term of sustainability in terms of specific actions and technologies. The main drivers of sustainable engineering practices within organizations include regulatory requirements, rising energy costs and client demand, while engineers consider the main sustainable technology practice priorities to be designs that use less energy or reduce emissions, manufacturing processes that use less energy and natural resources, utilizing renewable, recyclable and recycled materials, and reducing material wastes. Various challenges remain to expansion of sustainable engineering, especially economics, and these need to be addressed to facilitate increased shifts towards sustainability in engineering. The results are subject to the limitations related to surveying mainly mechanical engineers located in the U.S. Since the interpretations provided herein yield broad insights into both the manner in which sustainability concepts are being implemented into engineering practices and applied in engineering activities and the views of engineers and engineering companies towards this new dimension of engineering, the results are likely to benefit companies, engineering organizations, government bodies and policy makers in furthering the goals of sustainable development.
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Sustainability 2013 , 5 383 Acknowledgments Financial support was provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and is gratefully acknowledged. Conflict of Interest The author declares no conflict of interest. References 1. Curran, M.A. Wrapping our brains around sustainability. Sustainability 2009 , 1 , 5–13.
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