Using module-based learning methods to introduce sustainable manufacturing in engineering curriculum

Debalina Sengupta, Yinlun Huang, Cliff I. Davidson, Thomas F. Edgar, Mario R. Eden, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: Sustainable manufacturing may be defined as the creation of manufactured products that use processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy and natural resources, and are economically sound and safe for employees, communities and consumers. Recently, there have been several industrial and governmental endeavors to launch sustainable manufacturing initiatives. To support such initiatives and to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers, academic institutions have a responsibility to introduce educational programs and tools in the area of sustainable manufacturing. The purpose of this paper is to report on the approach, progress and contributions of a US National Science Foundation-sponsored project titled: “The Sustainable Manufacturing Advances in Research and Technology Coordination Network (SMART CN)”. Design/methodology/approach: The project aims to bridge the gap between the academic knowledge discovery and industrial technology innovation for sustainable manufacturing. Toward this goal, various research and educational activities have been undertaken to introduce Sustainable Manufacturing Case Studies for use by academic instructors to a diverse group of undergraduate, graduate and industry professionals. Findings: In this paper, the need for education on sustainable manufacturing has been focused upon, followed by approaches toward addressing these needs, concluding with examples of case studies developed through the SMART-CN project framework. Originality/value: This work provides the engineering community with structured modules for introducing the topic of sustainable manufacturing in the curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-328
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017


  • Curriculum innovation
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Module-based learning
  • Sustainable engineering
  • Sustainable manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education


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