Jon Moen on sustainability in engineering education

Since 2008, courses in sustainable development have been mandatory for students in the Master’s of Science in Engineering Programme at Umeå University. Jon Moen, professor of Ecology, is working to change this part of the education and place even more emphasis on sustainability.

“When students graduate from the University, they stand at the start of a 30—40 year-long career. In that time, society is expected to radically change. Already at the University, we need to pass on available insights into how we’re confronted with a vast readjust- ment towards a sustainable society, and also provide understanding for what an adjustment involves. In my mind, this is the biggest issue we can work with, and it’s something all future generations will be affected by.
”Currently for many engineering students, the course on sustainable development is something that is taken as a side course and which is not given too much focus in the programme. However, a plan to change this is taking shape. Sustainable development is something that all students need to take seriously, and it’s my firm hope and belief that the course will provide enough room for consideration. We’re actually working along the line of let- ting the course run throughout the duration of the programme. That would give students an initial introduction using a theoretical course early on. It would then end with a problem-oriented project in order to work towards a set goal from start to finish.”


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