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Tutorial EE15: Teaching the Role of Materials in Sustainable Development—Analytical Frameworks, Crossing Disciplines and Student Engagement

Monday, March 28, 2016
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
PCC North, 100 Level, Room 123

Materials enable technologies and infrastructure that play a crucial role in worldwide development and that increasingly impact the earth’s climate, water and resources. To identify pathways towards sustainable development, students and researchers must appreciate the multiple factors involved using a systems perspective. What is the balance sheet of impacts considering material sourcing, manufacturing, operation and end of life? What are the direct, indirect and unintended consequences?

Understanding these issues requires frameworks for analysis, insights across disciplines and effective means to engage participants in topics that are often outside their “comfort zone” of knowledge. This tutorial presented effective means to teach these approaches based on the extensive and complementary experience of the instructors. But in addition to educating the upcoming generation of materials researchers, this tutorial appealed to today’s materials scientists, engineers and technology managers who seek to identify, articulate, and implement changes that improve sustainability while enhancing the bottom line of their organizations.

Part I: Tatiana Vakhitova
A Framework for Evaluating Sustainable Development—Five-Step Methodology

Part II: Kevin Jones
Materials and Society–Engaging Learners

Part III: Richard LeSar
Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries—Challenges and Successes


  • Kevin Jones, University of Florida
  • Richard LeSar, Iowa State University
  • Tatiana Vakhitova, Granta Design Ltd.