Towards a Sustainability-Centred Design Curriculum in Civil Engineering




Froese, Thomas M.
Bristow, David N.
Rankin, Keagan

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University College Cork


To improve the green engineering and active learning of the civil engineering program at the University of Victoria, Canada, we are developing a design spine: a series of courses running throughout the program with major design activities based on a sustainability-centred design approach. This paper describes our design spine approach and presents a conceptual framework for sustainability-centred design that we are developing. The framework organizes both the subjects of design and of sustainability into four high-level categories: 1) foundations, 2) frameworks, 3) tools and techniques, and 4) application areas. We have piloted the design spine approach in a second year course on sustainability.



Engineering Education, Design Spine, Sustainability Education


Froese, T. M., Bristow, D., & Rankin, K. (2021) ‘Towards a sustainability-centred design curriculum in civil engineering, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', pp. 135-142. University College Cork, Ireland, Jun 14-16 2021,