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All Lectures and Readings

IDS470/ENG470: Sustainability Europe

THIS COURSE IS OPEN TO STUDENTS FROM ALL SCHOOLS/MAJORS

 

Catalog Information

Course Units: 1.0

IDS470 Prerequisites: n/a

ENG470 Prerequisites: MAT128, PHY202 

 

Liberal Learning / Technical Credit

Liberal Learning Credit: Global

ECE Credit: One Technical Elective for Rising Juniors and Seniors

Civil Engineering Credit: CIV381 or CIV451

Biomedical Engineering Credit: 

Mechanical Engineering Credit: 

 

Textbooks

Title: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

Author: Naomi Klein

 

Topics Covered

1. Environmentalism and Economics

a. Reading #1: 

    Title: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

    Author: Naomi Klein

2. Government and Energy Policy

a. Reading #1: Introduction to Global Sustainability Initiatives? 

    Title: The Diverging Paths of German and United States Policies for Renewable Energy 

    Source: Elsevier International Journal on Energy Policy 

    Title: Global Sustainability Initiatives by James A. Stoner, pp. 1 – 60 

    Source: Textbook Available for Free on Google Books 

b. Lecture #1: The Diverging Paths of German and United States Policies for Renewable Energy:

    Sources of Difference 

3. Environmentalism and Infrastructure

a. Reading #2: Modern Recycling Technology 

    Title: Recycling is Not Garbage by Richard A. Denison, all pages 

    Source: MIT Technology Review Online

b. Lecture #2: Discussion of Reading #2 and Site Visits

c. Tour(s):  Water Treatment Plant, Recycling Center

4. Renewable Energy

a. Reading #3: Introduction to Global Renewable Energy Initiatives 

    Title: Renewable Resources and Renewable Energy: A Global Challenge by Mauro Graziani,

    pp. 289 - 315 

    Source: Textbook Available for Free on Google Books 

b. Lecture #3: Introduction to Sustainable Power Engineering

c. Lecture #4: Smart Grid Technology for Energy Sustainability

d. Lecture #5: Solar Energy and Photovoltaics as well as Discussion of Reading #3 and Site Visits

e. Tour(s): Ardnacrusha Hydroelectric Power Plant, Solar Farm

5. Green Initiatives

a. Lecture #6: Wind Energy and Wind Turbine Technology as well as Discussion of Site Visits

b. Tour(s): Wicklow Wind Turbine Farm

c. Reading #5a (ENG470 only): Renewable Energy for Biomedical Devices 

    Title: Body Motion for Powering Biomedical Devices by Edwar Romero 

    Source: IEEE Xplore 

6. Final Thoughts

a. Lecture #7: Introduction to Final Project / Students Propose Ideas

b. Readings #5b (IDS470 only): Comparison of United States and European Energy Sustainability Initiatives 

    Title: What Makes Europe Greener than the United States by Elisabeth Rosenthal 

    Source: Yale University Environment 360 Publication 

    Title: Why the United States Does Not Have a Renewable Energy Policy 

    Source: United States Environmental Law Institute 

Note that this course outline does not include guest speakers, whose topics are TBD. 

 

Evaluation / Grading

ENG470 (technical credit) 

1. Participation (25%) 

2. Final Exam Covering All Readings and Lectures (25%) 

3. Technical Design Project (55%) ** 

IDS470 (liberal learning credit) 

1. Participation (35%) 

2. Final Exam Focusing on Historical, Cultural, and Political Issues (15%) 

3. Interdisciplinary Written Report (75%) *** 

 

** ENG470 students will be evaluated via final exam as well as design project in which they: 1) highlight a sustainable engineering problem relevant to their field of study, 2) develop a technical solution, 3) evaluate the quality of this solution via simulation, and 4) discuss their results in a written report. All students must comment on how their solution may be different if implemented in United States vs. Europe. For example, students may examine the use of hydraulic fracturing to recover natural gas in the United States and its dangers. They would then design a system to properly protect and purify local drinking water. 

 

*** IDS470 students will be evaluated via final exam as well as written report in which they: 1) discuss historical, cultural, and political differences between the United States and Europe with regard to energy sustainability and environmentalism; 2) pick existing yet comparable sustainable engineering facilities in the United States and Europe; as well as 3) examine how the aforementioned historical, cultural, and political differences affected their design and implementation. For example, public pressure recently motivated Spain to create a new regulating body, with close ties to the current ruling party, for all renewable energy facilities. This has seriously affected the viability of investment in Spanish renewables. What historical, cultural, and political factors motivated this decision? How would the presence of a similar body in the United State affect similar projects? 

 

Note that ENG470 and IDS470 students will be given separate exams, reflecting the technical vs. interdisciplinary foci of their courses. 

 

Contribution

1. Engineering Science (70%) 

2. Engineering Design (30%) 

 

Course Objectives / Performance Criterion: 

Objective #1: To provide an introduction to the field of sustainable engineering, one relevant to students from all engineering disciplines [a, f, h, j, k] 

* Students will demonstrate an understanding of environmental engineering. 

* Students will demonstrate an understanding of sustainable infrastructure. 

* Students will demonstrate an understanding of renewable energy technologies, including how they are modeled in larger electromechanical systems. One sub focus will be aerodynamics of wind turbines. 

* Students will demonstrate an understanding of smart grid technology and its role in energy sustainability. 

* Students will demonstrate an understanding of sustainable medical facilities, including specific design concerns and methods to evaluate sustainability. 

Objective #2: To build general engineering and design skills related to sustainability [a, c, e, g] 

* Students will demonstrate ability to highlight and proposes solutions to relevant sustainability problems. 

* Students will demonstrate ability to utilize simulation, appropriate to their discipline, to evaluate these solutions. 

Objective #3: To provide students with a global view of engineering, with focus on differences in engineering practices between United States and Europe [h]. 

*Students will demonstrate an understanding of how sustainable engineering issues differ between United States and Europe. 

* Students will be able to think critically about how human beings are able to gain knowledge beyond the limits of their own personal experiences, from a global perspective. 

* Students should develop imaginative and conceptual skills needed to compare and evaluate alternative worldviews. 

* Students should have an understanding of the nature of the global community and the complexities of modern society in an international context. 

* Students should recognize the international dimensions of academic disciplines.