Assimilation Of Sustainability Concepts In Graduate Engineering Management Capstone Projects
Engineering Management (EM) as a graduate program has become increasingly popular in the last several decades, thus offered by many universities worldwide. EM evolved from a business management graduate program’s whose primary focus is on the business attributes (e.g. economics, marketing). The emphasis of the EM program is on both technical expertise and general management aspects such as project management, operations, business management and leadership skills. Technical tools are imparted in an EM graduate program today include modelling, advanced statistics, quality, operations research, project management, technology assessment and implementation. Major world corporations, governments, and non-profits are now actively engaged in implementing sustainability related projects with the goal of balancing economics, environment, and equity (or social justice), generally known as the 3 Es. Sustainability is becoming so important that the American Society of Engineering Management is in the process of publishing its special sustainability issue with features focused on the 3Es. Key technical and managerial tools in modern EM programs are becoming necessary to a wide range of leaders for the implementation of sustainability projects. A sustainability project in an EM degree program includes the implementation of EM tools and methodology that provides hands-on experience to satisfy both the short and long-term goals of an organization. This research paper demonstrates how several sustainability capstone projects related to energy and recycling were implemented in the graduate EM program at our university. The example projects were sponsored by energy utilities and other organizations describe the models and methodologies used to demonstrate how sustainability principles are being assimilated into the engineering management capstone courses as the culmination of an advance educational program.