Engineering Institute of Technology

 

Unit Name

TECHNOLOGY, SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIETY

Unit Code

BSC 305C

 

Unit Duration

1 Term (2 Terms for 24 week delivery*)

Award

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

 

Duration 3 years

Year Level

Three

Unit Coordinator

 

Core/Elective

Core

Pre/Co-requisites

Nil

Credit Points

3

 

Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Delivery/ Contact Hours per week

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours (0.75 hours for 24 week delivery)

Tutorial – 1.5 hours

(0.75 hours for 24 week delivery)

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours (1 hour for 24 week delivery)

Personal Study recommended – 5 hours (2.5 hours for 24 week delivery)

 

  • This unit may be delivered over 24 weeks (2 Terms) because the nature of the content is deemed suitable (from a pedagogical perspective) for a longer duration than the standard 12 week (1 Term). In addition, these 24-week duration Units require half the student workload hours, 5 hours per week, which allows the total load to be kept at 15 hours per week when combined with a typical 10 hours per week, 12-week Unit. EIT has extensive data to demonstrate that if the load is higher than 15 hours per week the attrition rate for part time students dramatically increases.

    The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the concepts associated with sustainability, and the need for sustainability in engineering in different societal contexts, in order to incorporate these in real world problems and projects.

     

    The subject matter covered in this unit will include: a detailed account of key sustainability concepts and issues related to energy, water, food, and environment; the importance of energy analysis in relation to energy conservation and the key role played by technological innovations in sustainability; renewable energy technology concepts; and, the social and other challenges that often accompany the implementation of sustainable developments.

     

    Students will be also be guided into comprehending that professional engineers are increasingly required to play a leadership role in sustainable development, overcoming global challenges such as resource depletion, environmental pollution, population growth and damage to ecosystems, and be empowered by this knowledge to make sustainable development a key component of their work.

     

    At the conclusion of this unit, students will comprehend that sustainability is reliant upon recycling, generating more resources, and reducing the pressures of consumption on those resources from population growth and affluence. There is also a project component in this unit whereby students will undertake a case study on the societal consequences of a specific technological innovation in regard to globalization and climate change.

     

    Learning Outcomes

     

    On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

    1. Explain key sustainability concepts related to energy, water, food, environment, ecosystem and biodiversity.

    2. Apply a range of tools that offer systems thinking perspectives (e.g. Mass Flow analysis, foot-printing, SLCA, SWOT, EIOLCA, LCA, MIPS).

    3. Evaluate the use of energy and calculate energy savings.

    4. Demonstrate skills in the design and installation of renewable energy applications.

    5. Perform engineering calculations of power and energy availability of renewable energy sources.

    6. Apply the concepts of sustainable and appropriate technology.

    7. Outline measures that lead to building a sustainable society, present and future.

      Professional Development

      Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

      1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

        1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

        2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

        3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

        4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

        5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

        6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

        7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

        8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

      2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

        1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

        2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

        3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

        4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

        5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

      3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

        1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

        2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

        3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

        4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

 

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency

1.

Knowledge and Skill Base

1.1

Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.

1.2

Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.

1.3

In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.

1.4

Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.

1.5

Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.

1.6

Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.

2.

Engineering Application Ability

2.1

Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.

2.2

Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.

2.3

Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.

2.4

Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.

3.

Professional and Personal Attributes

3.1

Ethical conduct and professional accountability.

3.2

Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

3.3

Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.

3.4

Professional use and management of information.

3.5

Orderly management of self and professional conduct.

3.6

Effective team membership and team leadership.

Graduate Attributes

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:

 

Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines

 

1.1, 1.3

 

1, 4

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology

 

1.2

 

2, 3, 5

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain

1.4

4, 6

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain

 

1.5

 

4

B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems

 

1.4, 2.1, 2.3

 

4

B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice

 

2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2

 

C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience

 

3.2

 

2

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures

3.2

7

D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

4

D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain

 

2.4

 

5

E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability

 

1.6, 3.1, 3.4

 

1

E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work

 

3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6

 

Unit Competency and Learning Outcome Map

This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.

 

 

 

Graduate Attributes

A1

A2

A3

A4

B1

B2

C1

C2

D1

D2

E1

E2

 

Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

1.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unit Learning Outcomes

LO1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LO2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LO3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LO4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LO5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LO6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LO7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Assessment

 

Assessment Type

When assessed

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

 

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation / Case study

Example Topic: Sustainability requirements, energy, water, food and environment issues.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts.

 

Week 3

(Week 6 for

24 week delivery)

 

15%

 

1

 

Assessment 2

Type: Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation / Case study / Project

Example Topic: Ecology and sustainability frameworks, life cycle assessment, energy use analysis.

Students may be asked to provide solutions to simple problems on various topics.

 

Week 5

(Week 10

for 24 week delivery)

 

20%

 

2, 3

 

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote lab / Virtual lab software simulation / Case study / Project

Example Topic: Renewable energy technology, technological systems, and innovations.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or use software to complete a practical.

 

Week 8

(Week 16

for 24 week delivery)

 

20%

 

4, 5, 6

 

Assessment 4

Type: Project / Case Study or Examination

Example Topic: Societal consequences of specific technological developments.

Students will undertake a case study on the societal consequences of a specific technological innovation in regard to globalization and climate change.

 

Final Week

 

40%

 

1 to 7

 

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

 

Continuous

 

5%

 

1 to 7

Prescribed and recommended readings

Suggested Textbook

Dorf, RC 2001, Technology, Humans and Society: Toward a Sustainable World, Academic Press, ISBN-13: 978-0122210907

Bell, S 2011, Engineers, Society and Sustainability, Morgan & Claypool Publishers, ISBN 978-1-608457892

To be confirmed by Lecturer.

 

Reference Materials

  • Larson, A, 2011, Sustainability, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, Open Textbook Library, ISBN 13: 978-1-453314128

  • Theis, T, Tomkin, F (ed.) 2010, Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation, Open Textbook Library.

  • Peer-reviewed journals

  • Knovel library: http://app.knovel.com

  • IDC Technologies publications

  • Other material and online collections as advised during the lectures

 

Journal, website

A number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures)

 

Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks

 

Topic 1

Introduction

  1. Sustainability and its importance, purposes, challenges, and requirements

  2. Limits to exponential growth on a finite planet

  3. Envisioning and implementation of a sustainable society

  4. Dynamic aspects of sustainability

  5. The three pillars of sustainability

  6. Sustainability and business

  7. Sustainability as an integrating concept

 

Topic 2

Primary Sustainability Issues

  1. Energy – world energy usage, impacts of material production, problems with current waste management, reducing the impact of material use

  2. Water – water resource and use world-wise, problems associated with current water systems, sustainable water management

  3. Food – world food production, energy and environmental impacts, alternatives (local/organic)

  4. Shelter - current building styles and problems, sustainable architecture

  5. Sustainability and the natural environment – climate change, energy, water, bio- diversity and land use, chemicals, toxics and heavy metals, air pollution, waste management, ozone depletion, oceans and fisheries, deforestation

 

Topic 3

Key Sustainability Concepts

  1. Importance of Ecosystems

  2. Biodiversity as nature’s risk management tool

  3. Ecological crises – population, water, soil, deforestation, bio-diversity, climate change, ecological foot-print and variations

  4. Environment and limits to growth

  5. Industrial ecology and sustainability frameworks – mass flow analysis, foot-printing, SLCA, SWOT, EIOLCA, LCA, MIPS

  6. Life cycle assessment

 

Topic 4

Energy use analysis

  1. Principles of analysing energy use

  2. Energy auditing tools and techniques

  3. Energy conservation techniques

  4. Determining energy savings

 

Topic 5

Renewable Energy Technology

  1. Introduction to alternate energy systems

  2. Renewable energy production – hydroelectric, wind power, passive and active solar energy, tidal energy

  3. Appropriate building techniques

  4. Impact on humans and their environment

  5. Perform engineering calculations of power and energy availability of renewable energy sources

  6. Green Building Design and Concepts

 

Topics 6 and 7

Sustainability and Technology

  1. Technological systems and innovation

  2. Social goals

  3. Benefits of technology

  4. Technology and social progress

  5. Technology – positive and negative outcomes

  6. Limits to technological solutions

  7. Hybrid engineering

  8. Sustainable engineering

  9. Emerging technological innovations

  10. New technology and innovative sustainability approaches - sustainable transportation, innovations in water systems, green building design and concepts

 

Topic 8

Path toward a sustainably built environment

  1. Designing and operating green workplaces and buildings

  2. Protecting the environment through energy efficiency and renewable energy

  3. Providing green infrastructure: water, energy, and transportation

  4. Planning and building sustainable cities

Topic 9

Sustainability Management

  1. Air pollution effects, measurement and control

  2. Energy, materials, production, water

  3. Recycling and reusing

  4. Resource and waste management

  5. Economics of sustainability

 

Topic 10

Sustainability and Society

  1. Inequality and poverty

  2. Societal consequences of technological developments

  3. Sustainability, society and social change

  4. Links between globalization, climate change, poverty and engineering

  5. Suggested solutions

 

Topic 11

Sustainable Development and Social Challenges

  1. Economic, environmental, and social trends

  2. Global inequities in all dimensions of sustainability

  3. The three pillars of sustainable development

  4. Key features and principles of sustainable development

  5. Globalization, population growth, energy use, and sustainable development

  6. Health and sustainability

 

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.