Harnessing the Environmental Professional Expertise of Engineering Students-The Course: “Environmental Management Systems in the Industry” Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • More and more technical universities now advocate integrating sustainability in higher education and including it as a strategic goal for improving education’s quality and relevance to society. This study examines 30 fourth-year chemical engineering students, graduates of a university course designed to combine their terminological domain with sustainability-oriented goals, focusing on topics like corporate sustainability, developing environmental policy, introduction to ISO 14001—Environmental Management Systems (EMS), and environmental legislation. The study explores their perception of industrial-environmental issues and asks—How did the study unit influence the students’ ability to use their preexisting scientific knowledge, while relating to industrial-environmental issues? Our findings indicate that engineering students can develop industrial-environmental awareness, and make use of interdisciplinary knowledge beyond that strictly related to the realm of engineering. Regarding the research’s particular aim—i.e. determining the study unit’s influence on students’ ability to relate industrial-environmental issues to their own field of engineering—the findings indeed show a change in the students’ conceptions of environmental elements related to industry. The course graduates became more attentive to the environmental aspects associated with building and opening a factory, and the concepts they raised in connection with the topic gained in variety.

publication date

  • May 1, 2010