Engineering sustainable solutions program : critical literacies for engineers portfolio

Paten, Cheryl, Palousis, Nicholas, Hargroves, Karlson, & Smith, Michael (2005) Engineering sustainable solutions program : critical literacies for engineers portfolio. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 6(3), pp. 265-277.

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While a number of universities in Australia have embraced concepts such as project/problem‐based learning and design of innovative learning environments for engineering education, there has been a lack of national guidance on including sustainability as a “critical literacy” into all engineering streams. This paper was presented at the 2004 International Conference on Engineering Education in Sustainable Development (EESD) in Barcelona, Spain, outlining a current initiative that is seeking to address the “critical literacy” dilemma.


The paper presents the positive steps taken by Australia's peak engineering body, the Institution of Engineers Australia (EA), in considering accreditation requirements for university engineering courses and its responsibility to ensure the inclusion of sustainability education material. It then describes a current initiative called the “Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program – Critical Literacies for Engineers Portfolio” (ESSP‐CL), which is being developed by The Natural Edge Project (TNEP) in partnership with EA and Unesco.


Content for the module was gathered from around the world, drawing on research from the publication The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation, and Governance in the Twenty‐first Century. Parts of the first draft of the ESSP‐CL have been trialled at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia with first year environmental engineering students, in May 2004. Further trials are now proceeding with a number of other universities and organisations nationally and internationally.

Practical implications

It is intended that ESSP‐CL will be a valuable resource to universities, professional development activities or other education facilities nationally and internationally.


This paper fulfils an identified information/resources need.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 45386
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Curricula, Education, Australia, Higher education, Sustainable development, Industrial engineering
DOI: 10.1108/14676370510607232
ISSN: 1467-6370
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2011 22:19
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2015 04:49

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