Sustainable Human Development in Mainstream Undergraduate Engineering Education.

Mention in the first edition of the "European award for best practice for the integration of SHD (Sustainable Human Development) into technology and engineering education”, in the context of the European project "Global Dimension in Engineering Education ‐ GDEE ",

Authors: Director of the work: Alison Furber from the University of Edinburgh.
Other Authors: Dr Martin Gillie, Dr Martin Crapper, Dr Tim Stratford.

The Institute of Infrastructure and Environment at the University of Edinburgh provides a mainstream civil engineering degree. Climate change and poverty are two critical challenges of our time, and as such it is our belief that every engineer graduating from our degree programme should have an awareness of the issues and debate surrounding sustainable human development. We are currently engaged in ongoing research to explore ways to help student engineers develop the skills they will need to tackle the broader issues of sustainable development. In particular, we are interested in improving the way our students incorporate qualitative factors (for example social land ethical dimensions) into their engineering design solutions alongside those factors which canbe quantified (for example technical and economic dimensions). We are trialling an innovative method of combining Case Method with Socratic Dialogue in our teaching. There are many reasons why this would be beneficial. Through incorporating a global dimension, our evidence suggests students will be more engaged with the taught material. Our students will have a greater awareness of global issues and sustainable development and will ultimately be more employable. Sustainable human development problems are difficult engineering problems; tackling these problems will help students develop core engineering skills that will be beneficial to them regardless of the specialisation they choose to enter on graduation.