Sustainable engineering education in research and practice

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Sustainability and responsible use of the resources at our disposal are among the most important goals of our time. Employees are looking for next-generation employees with ever more skills. To ideally foster these in engineering and prepare them for future challenges, the integration of education for sustainable development (ESD) with a linkage of technical and sustainability-oriented issues in the curriculum is essential. This paper takes up two points: Firstly, an analysis of the research landscape in Engineering Education Research (EER) on the topic of "sustainability" is undertaken. For this purpose, more than 3500 conference papers of EDUCON and FIE of the years 2014 to 2018 as well as 2021 (EDUCON only) are evaluated. The methodology of the analysis as well as the set of main and sub categories (among them "sustainability") will be presented at SEFI 2022. The results of the analysis of the research landscape show that the topic of sustainability has so far played a negligible role in the conference contributions. Secondly, the focus is on the implementation process and the linking of technical and sustainability-oriented issues. The study programme concept of the Leuphana University offers two options for sustainable technical education by combining major and minor study programmes. The interdisciplinary combinations are presented and explained using module examples. In total, this paper provides a research-based contribution to sustainable engineering education in research and practice. Engineering students’ courses of action have been videorecorded in design projects and in electronics labs at two universities. It can bee seen that students’ use a wealth of bodily-material resources that are an integral and seamless part of students’ interactions. They use bodily resources, concrete materials, “low-tech” inscriptions as well as “high-tech” (“digital”) inscription devices. Our results challenge that by hand – by computer and analogue tools – digital tools should be seen as dichotomies. Our empirical evidence suggests that students should be trained to not only be trained to work with “digital” tools but with a multitude of tools and resources. We, thus, advocate that a postdigital perspective should be taken in education where the digital makes up part of an integrated totality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings
EditorsHannu-Matti Jarvinen, Santiago Silvestre, Ariadna Llorens, Balazs Vince Nagy
Number of pages9
PublisherUniversitat Politecnica de Catalunya
Publication date01.09.2022
ISBN (Electronic)9788412322262
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2022
EventSEFI 50th Annual Conference - Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 19.09.202222.09.2022
Conference number: 50

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 SEFI 2022 - 50th Annual Conference of the European Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Interdisciplinary engineering education, practice-based learning concepts, theory-based engineering course
  • Engineering