Sustainability and the Environmental Engineer: Implications for Education, Research, and Practice

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2010


Three case studies (Bolivia, Guyana, Florida) are presented that demonstrate how sustainability can be incorporated into environmental engineering education, research, and practice. They demonstrate how traditional measures of performance (e.g., function, economics, and safety) can be enhanced with additional measures of performance that integrate societal needs and a global perspective. The case studies also show how engineering practice can apply sustainability to an “engineering project” to transcend beyond the physical structure and include the social setting in which the project is located and importantly, the people who will operate, manage, and benefit from the project. This fits with the vision of the Environmental Engineering Body of Knowledge that “environmental engineering problem formulation and solution must be accomplished in the context of sustainability, must meet societal needs and must be sensitive to global implications.” Furthermore, adding the learning outcomes of caring and a human dimension to education is critical if sustainability is to become inherent in all environmental engineering practice.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Environmental Engineer: Applied Research and Practice, v. 10, p. 1-10