Teaching Sustainable Design via Experiential Learning

By Peter Mark Jansson, William Riddell and Jess Everett.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The engineering clinic at Rowan University’s College of Engineering is quite unique in that it spans all four undergraduate years and comprises 20 credits of the curriculum. These innovative design sequences enable engineers to learn through practice and experiential learning situations the many facets of engineering design. The curricula in Electrical & Computer and Civil & Environmental engineering are full of course content needed to satisfy ABET requirements so the engineering clinic provides a unique opportunity to provide sustainable design experiences for those students selecting these projects focused on energy engineering, renewable energy systems and sustainable design. This paper describes the many experiential learning opportunities afforded to the engineering students from conducting energy audits for schools, municipalities, farms and residences to the design of the largest utility interactive photovoltaic system (3 MW) east of Arizona in the United States. These clinic projects provide real world experiences where the students are called upon to use all their book knowledge, common sense and resourcefulness to make a significant contribution to project goals each semester. Many of these students have gone on to work quite successfully in the very industries in which they developed their sustainable design experience. The paper discusses the clinic sequence from freshman through senior year and focuses in on some of the work students performed for the authors in their sustainable design clinics over the past few years. Recently Rowan University has been acknowledged for the leadership role it is playing in sustainable practice and education.

Keywords: Experiential Learning, Project Based Learning, Sustainable Design in Engineering Renewable Energy Systems

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.17-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 921.913KB).

Dr. Peter Mark Jansson

Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Jansson is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rowan University and teaches DC and AC circuits, power system engineering, renewable energy systems and freshman through senior engineering clinics. He worked in the power industry for nearly 20 years before entering academe after completing his PhD in Innovation in Electricity at Cambridge. His interests include sustainable design, Mach’s Principle, active learning technologies for engineering students and energy engineering. He is also an active consultant as the president of Integrated Systems where he performs design engineering for renewable energy systems and energy conservation. He is Vice President of the NJ Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability and lectures frequently on methods for mitigating climate change.

Dr. William Riddell

Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA

Dr. Jess Everett

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey, USA


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