The Natural Edge Project The Natural Advantage of Nations Whole System Design Factor 5 Cents and Sustainability Higher Education and Sustainable Development


"(Biomimicry) Introduces a concept worthy of wide exploration in a world dazzled by the industrial artefacts around us... Over the millions of years, nature's life forms through natural selection have had to live with the constraints of the entropy law on a solar budget."
Wes Jackson, The Land Institute





TNEP Training and Education

The research team undertakes a range of content development and dissemination initiatives to inform and further develop the research agenda. This includes: delivering short courses within universities, industry and government; facilitating workshops, design charrettes, strategic planning sessions and symposia; and delivering conference presentations and workshops. A summary of content developed to date is provided below, in addition to examples of training initiatives and strategic international collaborations.

Content Development (Education Materials)

Download a 2 page summary of available content here

Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions

TNEP received grants from UNESCO (Natural Science Sector) and The Institution of Engineers Australia (College of Environmental Engineering and Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering) to develop the following two courses.

Introduction to Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions

The course is the introductory course in the Critical Literacies Portfolio of the Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program. The course focuses on the context for incorporating sustainable development into the engineering profession, describing the terms, barriers, opportunities and existing tools that define and explain a whole systems approach to Sustainable Development. TNEP received grants from UNESCO (Natural Science Sector) and The Institution of Engineers Australia (College of Environmental Engineering and Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering) to develop this course.


Principles and Practices in Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions
The course is the second, intermediate course in the Critical Literacies Portfolio of the Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program. The course builds on from the introductory course and provides a focus on principles and practices involved in incorporating sustainable development into the engineering profession. TNEP received grants from UNESCO (Natural Science Sector) and The Institution of Engineers Australia (College of Environmental Engineering and Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering) to develop this course.

Design Transformed: Whole Systems Design for Climate Change Mitigation

Funding for the development of the Whole System Design Suite of the Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program has been provided by the Australian Federal Department of the Environment and Water Resources (DEWR) under the Education for Sustainable Development Grants Programme.

The purpose of the Whole System Design Suite is to provide introductory technical design based teaching material to demonstrate how advances in energy, materials and water efficiency can be achieved through applying a Whole System Approach to Sustainable Design. Whole System Approaches for designing buildings, cars, cities, industry plants, motors, farming and agriculture, and lighting systems are increasingly being seen as the key to the most cost effective reduction in negative environmental impacts. TNEP received a grant from the Australian Federal Department of the Environment and Water Resources under the Education for Sustainable Development Grants Programme.

 

Energy Transformed: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation

In 2006/07 TNEP is partnering with CSIRO and the National Framework for Energy Efficiency to develop industry training material as part of the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship. The 'Sustainable Energy Solutions Portfolio' seeks to deliver an effective toolkit for capacity-building engineers, designers and other key technical professions, in the skill of finding cost-effective low-carbon energy approaches and energy efficiency options.

This portfolio will provide a freely available online education and training package to bring together the knowledge of how Australia can achieve at least 60 percent cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This training package provides industry, business and households with the knowledge they need to realise at least 30 percent energy efficiency savings in the short term while providing a strong basis for further improvement. TNEP recieved grants from CSIRO, as part of the Energy Transformed Flagship, and the National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE).

 

E-Waste Curriculum Development Project

 

TNEP worked in collaboration with Griffith University to develop the E-Waste Curriculum Development Project with funding from DELL. The team from TNEP worked with Malcolm Wolski, Associate Director, Research Computing Services Information and Communication Technology Services at Griffith University.

 

Content Dissemination - Training & Education

   

University of South Australia - Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture and Design

In 2006/07 TNEP is working with UniSA on the development of two coursework units for the Master of Sustainable Design The first two courses proposed are 'Sustainable Design Theory - Sustainability and Society' and 'Sustainable Design Theory - Sustainable Design Principles'.


 

KBR Government & Infrastructure

"Selected KBR staff attended workshops, courses and seminars by The Natural Edge Project (TNEP). These resulted in the development of an in-house sustainability program through which we will educate and support our wider staff in the Asia Pacific region as the field of sustainable engineering continues to develop. This program has set the benchmark for our global counterparts in KBR and has provided a robust framework upon which we can build a sustainable future. We will continue to collaborate with TNEP as we progress towards sustainability."

Bridget Kelly, Sustainability Technical Sector Leader
KBR Government & Infrastructure.

RMIT Master of Sustainable Practice

In 2006 TNEP worked with RMIT to deliver courses as part of the Master of Sustainable Practice. Currently two units from the Critical Literacies Portfolio have been approved under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Roger Hadgraft, School of Civil and Chemical Engineering. TNEP will be both offering these units in partnership with RMIT to private clients and groups and also to Students of RMIT as shortcourses. The first course was also delivered twice in late 2006 in partnership with Griffith University.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

In 2006 TNEP undertook a collaboration with the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering at QUT to develop a Faculty-wide ‘Introducing Sustainability’ unit. TNEP assisted by facilitating preparatory workshops, delivering base lecture material and assisting in tutor training and support. The base unit material for the unit is a hybrid of the TNEP 'Role of Engineering in Sustainable Development - A' course and the textbook for the unit is ‘The Natural Advantage of Nations'.


HATCH

In 2005/06 TNEP worked with Hatch to assist in the development of training material focused on sustainability critical literacy skills, relevant to the minerals processing industry. The training materials strongly align with the leading sustainability tools within Hatch.

Queensland Government Environment Protection Agency - Sustainable Industries Division - ecoBiz Program
In 2005/06 TNEP worked with the Sustainable Industries Division of the Queensland EPA to assist the division to further develop their capacity building programs and assist the division to embed sustainability thinking, methodologies and tools into the organisations behavior and practice.


Strategic International Collaborations

Australia-Japan 2010 Education Symposium for the 21st Century
Australian Consulate, Tokyo, 18 February 2010.

The 2010 Symposium on 'Knowledge and Skills for Sustainability' is supported by the Australia-Japan foundation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The event includes collaboration with the University of Tokyo (IR3S) and Australian Education International.

The symposium goal is to provide an international and interdisciplinary forum for Australian and Japanese participants to foster new collaborations in education and research by sharing their local knowledge and expertise, adapting those local specialitites to our future low-carbon economy and rapidly changing global environment. Following the May 2009 symposium, this symposium will provide an opportunity for participants to continue to discuss and prioirtise follow-up activities and networking opportunities for future collaborations through student exchanges, research collaborations, joint curriculum/ dual degree development, joint university-industry collaborations, and joint outreach acvitities.