A global effort to accelerate environmentally sustainable engineering
Engineering for One Planet (EOP) is a global initiative working to equip all future engineers across all disciplines with the fundamental skills and principles of environmental sustainability.
All engineers will be equipped to design, build, code and invent with the planet in mind.
Mobilized by The Lemelson Foundation and VentureWell with input from hundreds of stakeholders across sectors, the EOP initiative seeks to create systemic change by establishing environmentally sustainable engineering as a core tenet of the profession. To achieve this, the initiative provides a roadmap for integrating fundamental principles of sustainability into engineering education to support the health of the planet and the lives it sustains.
Engineering education must cultivate engineers and inventors who design and build for the smallest environmental footprint possible.
Engineers have outsized impact on the world. From new products to new buildings and modes of transportation, an engineer’s decisions regarding design, source materials, production, distribution, and disposal can make a difference on whether their work contributes to or mitigates environmental impact. However, most engineering students are not equipped to apply the core principles of sustainable design and environmental responsibility.
More than ever, there is increasing demand and collective will to transform the engineering profession to address environmental sustainability.
Students, professionals, educators, consumers, corporations and governments around the world are demanding greater responsiveness to planetary protection. Organizations like the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and professional engineering associations are highlighting the need to accelerate the integration of competencies of environmental sustainability across engineering education.
All future engineers, no matter their discipline, are equipped with the skills, knowledge, and understanding to design, build and create in environmentally sustainable ways.
The Engineering for One Planet Framework represents fundamental learning outcomes and is designed for flexible adoption within higher education institutions, programs, and courses.
The EOP Framework was co-developed by a community of educators and professionals. It outlines the cross-cutting knowledge, awareness and competence needed to instill environmental sustainability into engineering education. Engineers will be taught to create solutions that minimize negative environmental impacts and strive to achieve positive outcomes for the planet and the life it sustains.
The EOP Framework is a platform for incorporating environmental sustainability competencies into engineering courses and programs across all engineering disciplines.
The EOP Framework has been developed collaboratively, including feedback from nearly 100 direct contributors and through hundreds of stakeholder conversations. Five universities across the U.S. are piloting curricular changes based on the EOP Framework with seed funding from The Lemelson Foundation. These institutions and other members of the EOP community will help other educators and institutions make changes on their campuses by sharing learnings and teaching tools developed.
Collaboration among diverse groups and sectors is necessary to achieve and sustain systemic change in engineering education.
Mobilizing the community for collaboration and tapping into diverse lived experiences and expertise will help accelerate educational and institutional transformation. The EOP initiative represents the work of hundreds of collaborators from academia, industry, philanthropy, government and nonprofits, and aligns with the U.S. engineering accreditation body ABET and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EOP network will bring them together to identify opportunities for collaborative actions.
The EOP Framework
Co-developed with experts from academia and industry, the Framework was designed to be widely adaptable and adoptable by engineering faculty and administrators, and is structured around core student learning outcomes under the categories of “systems thinking,” “knowledge and understanding,” and “skills experiences and behavior.”
1. Systems thinking
Systems thinking is a critical approach for engineers to understand that designs rely upon and exist within systems, to identify the impacts and influences of the different and interconnected environmental, economic and social factors of the design system and to recognize that their designs themselves are systems.
2. Knowledge and understanding
Theories and concepts that are critically important to become competent, environmentally sustainable engineers are divided into topic areas of environmental literacy, social responsibility, and responsible business and economy.
3. Skills, experiences, and behavior
A series of interdependent and interconnected skills, experiences and behaviors are divided into technical skills, including environmental impact measurement, materials choice and design, and leadership skills, including critical thinking, communication and teamwork.
The EOP Community
The EOP initiative mobilizes a growing international community of hundreds of collaborators and advocates who have the expertise and leadership to institute systemic change in engineering education, including stakeholders from academia, industry, philanthropy, government and nonprofits. To get updates or learn more about becoming a collaborator, email email@example.com.
Five academic institutions representing a geographic mix of public and private universities across the U.S. are piloting curricular change based on the EOP Framework: Arizona State University, Oregon State University, University of Central Florida, University of Maryland and Villanova University. Funded by The Lemelson Foundation, the two-year pilot program will help shape teaching tools, implementation models and learnings for broader adoption of the Framework among engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally.
The EOP Advisory Group (AG) provides strategic advice on the EOP initiative, and includes students and professionals with experience in academia, industry and the public sector who are passionate about advancing environmentally sustainable engineering.
Climate Change & Sustainability Innovator
Kit Batten Consulting
Rosalyn W. Berne
Associate Professor, Department of Engineering and Society
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Virginia
Environmental Defense Fund
The Lemelson Foundation
Executive Director & CEO
American Society of Mechanical Engineering
Sr. Program Officer
Global Sustainability Leader, Safety & Construction
Co-Founder & Executive Director
BSE Candidate in Chemical Engineering
University of Michigan
Gerardo Valenzuela Mendoza
M.SC. Candidate in Civil Engineering
The University of Texas at El Paso
PhD Candidate in Chemical & Environmental Engineering
Sr. Director of Strategy
The Lemelson Foundation
Michael E. Webber
The University of Texas at Austin
Chief Science and Technology Officer
EOP AG Member Emeritus Don Norman
Director (Emeritus), Design Lab
University of California San Diego
Funded by The Lemelson Foundation and launched in partnership with VentureWell, the EOP initiative includes hundreds of stakeholders. Among these, over 90 individuals from academia, professional associations, nonprofits, government and industry have contributed to the development and refinement of the EOP Framework. The initiative also includes collaborators like the Kern Family Foundation, which has funded the initial development of a faculty training program through VentureWell that leverages the Engineering Unleashed platform – an online community for engineering faculty and staff to collaborate, share, and connect with peers across the nation.
Resources & News
Infusing Sustainability Into the Curriculum is a 5-day virtual, synchronous faculty development workshop offered by VentureWell and Engineering Unleashed, designed to help faculty integrate key sustainability concepts, tools, and frameworks -including the Engineering for One Planet (EOP) Framework and KEEN’s Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM) Framework- into into existing or new engineering curricula. This will give students the essential knowledge, skills, and experiences to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and innovate with the planet in mind.
This is a summary of the outcomes of a two-day roundtable which convened 20 sustainable engineering leaders from across higher education, nonprofit, business and government with the aim of creating a roadmap for defining and developing a framework for environmentally responsible (ER) engineering. [PDF]
This paper identifies the challenges collectively faced in developing environmentally responsible engineering programs and outlines a rationale and a theory of change for the initiative. [PDF]
Academics and professionals experienced in environmentally responsible engineering recommended this list of resources for incorporating environmental sustainability into engineering education. [PDF]
This set of resources is intended to help inventor-entrepreneurs develop products that will improve people’s lives and generate profits—without putting additional stress on our resource-limited planet.
Guidance for weaving sustainability into existing courses on engineering and physics, industrial and product design, and business
For more information or questions about the EOP initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up to learn more and receive news and updates about the EOP initiatives.
A global effort to accelerate environmentally and socially conscious engineering
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