The vision of the Faculty of Engineering, as stated in the 2009 Strategic Plan (Engineering a Sustainable Society) is to be known internationally as a leader in research and education supporting the development of sustainable engineering practices. Appointed by Dr. David Wilkinson, the Task Force on Sustainability in Engineering Education aims to shape the Faculty’s approach to more fully incorporate the concepts of sustainability into the curriculum, primarily at the undergraduate level.

McMaster University Sustainability Competencies for Graduates of Engineering Programs

The Task Force on Sustainability in Engineering Education has developed a set of five sustainability competencies; the intent is that graduates of engineering programs have a achieved these competencies at a significant level of learning. Using Bloom’s taxonomy, the task force is considering which levels of learning are to be expected for each of these competencies.

The five sustainability competencies, with brief descriptions, are listed below.

Triple Bottom Line - An ability to design and evaluate complex open-ended engineering systems using a triple-bottom line of sustainability dimensions: social, economic and environmental.

Metrics and Tools - Demonstrate an understanding of and an ability to use and interpret sustainability metrics and tools.

Stakeholders –An ability to interact and collaborate with stakeholders having a broad range of cultural and social backgrounds to consider the needs of present and future generations in developing creative solution(s) to an engineering problem.

Sustainability Ethics and Responsibilities -Recognizes and values the importance of dealing ethically with uncertainties, diversity, intra and inter-generational equity and other non-technical challenges which affect engineering decision-making.

Complexity –An ability to work within complex systems (environmental, social, economic or technological) using sustainability considerations and understand the limitations due to uncertainty.

Download the detailed descriptions of these competencies »