Integration of education for sustainable development in a mechanical engineering programme
Paper in proceeding, 2012

This paper presents and analyzes the integration with progression of education for sustainable development in Chalmers University of Technology’s MScEng programme in Mechanical Engineering. The programme has an idea and structure that emphasizes employability, integration of general engineering skills, authentic engineering experiences and focus on holistic view of the complete lifecycle of products and systems. The realization of these aims stress the need of an integrated and adapted sustainable development education for mechanical engineering. To reach this goal, we applied a combined top-down and bottom-up education development process that started with the formulation of programme vision and programme level learning outcomes. Faculty meetings and workshop to formulate the course learning outcomes and to map the programme level outcomes to courses in which the outcomes are satisfied followed this. The strategy became to integrate specific sustainability topics in courses where it is appropriate and to have a separate course in sustainable development to ensure that general aspects of sustainable development are included and that a team of faculty takes full responsibility for this. Design-build-test project courses are shown to be suitable arenas for integrating teaching and learning of sustainable development. Results from a student survey on perceptions of the relevance and quality of sustainability education are accounted for and discussed. Outstanding challenges in the area are identified.

Education development

mechanical engineering

education for sustainable development


Mikael Enelund


Maria Knutson Wedel

Chalmers, Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Surface and Microstructure Engineering

Ulrika Lundqvist

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Johan Malmqvist

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Product Development

Proceedings of the 8th International CDIO Conference, Brisbane, Austraila

Subject Categories

Educational Sciences

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance


Learning and teaching

Pedagogical work

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