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




"Thank you very much to Earthscan for being so considerate to send me a copy of Karlson "Charlie" Hargroves' and Michael Smith's The Natural Advantage of Nations. It is a great book following up on findings we published in Factor Four and linking it all to the business community."
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker, co-author of 'Factor Four' and the recently published 'Limits To Privatization'





The Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program

Critical Literacies Portfolio

 

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 'Introduction to Sustainable Development for Engineering and Built Environment Professionals' and 'Principles and Practices in Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions'.

 
 

Principles and Practices in Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions

The engineering, design and planning professions will play a significant part in moving society to a more sustainable way of life. Recognising this, the Engineering Sustainable Solution Program (ESSP) seeks to provide engineers and built environment professionals with a core understanding of sustainability issues and opportunities as they relate to their practice. The ESSP is designed to facilitate the effective incorporation of key pieces of information, or 'critical literacies', and the design calculations, or 'design principles', relating to sustainability into engineering curricula and capacity building.

The Critical Literacies program is intended to provide teachers, lecturers, trainers and self learners with a suite of material that has been well researched, peer reviewed and trialled to assist in the acceleration of the use of such material an alert to sustainability principles and activity in the engineering profession.



Principles and Practices in Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions

Preliminaries
Lecture 1: The Critical Role of Engineering (Summary)
Lecture 2: Rethinking the Application of Engineering Design (Summary)
Lecture 3: Broadening the Problem Definition (Summary)
Lecture 4: Innovation to Achieve Factor 4-10 (Summary)
Preliminaries
Lecture 5: Efficiency – A Critical First Step towards Sustainability (Summary)
Lecture 6: Efficiency: Engineering Efficiencies (Energy, Water, Materials) (Summary)
Lecture 7: Whole Systems: Achieving Whole of Systems Optimisation - Pipes and Pumps (Summary)
Lecture 8: Whole Systems: 10 step Operational Checklist to Achieve Whole System Design Optimisation (Summary)
Preliminaries
Lecture 9: Design Inspired by Nature (Summary)
Lecture 10: A Biomimetic Design Method and Information Sources (Summary)
Lecture 11: Definitions and Principles of Green Chemistry and Green Chemical Engineering (Summary)
Lecture 12: Green Chemistry and Green Engineering In Practice: A Succinct Overview (Summary)


Lecture 1: The Critical Role of Engineering
This lecture outlines (in more detail than the introductory course) historical changes and trends that have led to the call for sustainable development. It discusses the critical role of engineering and built environment professions in achieving sustainable development. (Back)


Lecture 2: Rethinking the Application of Engineering Design
This lecture reflects on the need to rethink the way engineering design is used to solve problems. It discusses how engineering institutions, scientific communities, the corporate sector and government are recognising the need to change the design scope; now seeking to design for sustainability/environment. (Back)



Lecture 3: Broadening the Problem Definition
This lecture discusses the scale and speed society needs to work at to reduce its negative impact on the global environment and improve resource productivity to prevent further overshoot of ecological thresholds. It also defines the types of performance targets engineers will need to help society achieve. (Back)



Lecture 4: Innovation to Achieve Factor 4-10
This lecture introduces the concept of ‘factor efficiency improvements’ in achieving large scale improvements towards sustainable development. It discusses the roles of government and research and development agencies in promoting such sustainable technology solutions. (Back)


Lecture 5: Efficiency – A Critical First Step towards Sustainability
This lecture continues to discuss ‘efficiency’ as a vital sustainability strategy, examining the roles of business, government and other organisations who are embracing efficiency to improve performance while reducing costs and pollution. (Back)


Lecture 6: Efficiency: Engineering Efficiencies (Energy, Water, Materials)
This lecture explores how it is possible to achieve significant energy, water and material efficiencies with numerous everyday products and industrial processes. The lecture provides an overview of opportunities for engineers, including checklists for those seeking to achieve greater energy, water and materials efficiencies. (Back)



Lecture 7: Whole Systems: Achieving Whole of Systems Optimisation - Pipes and Pumps
This lecture introduces a ‘Pipes and Pumps’ case study from the Rocky Mountains Institute as an existing whole system engineering example of redesigning industrial pumping systems. The lecture also discusses how this example can be emulated for the whole system design of numerous other engineering systems. (Back)



Lecture 8: Whole Systems: 10 step Operational Checklist to Achieve Whole System Design Optimisation
This lecture discusses the operational steps involved in Whole Systems Design through the use of an operational check list. (Back)

 

Lecture 9: Design Inspired by Nature
This lecture discusses the concept of ‘Biomimicry’ and the principles on which the field is founded. It also discusses the role of the professional community in applying this methodology as a global network of Biomimicry practitioners. (Back)



Lecture 10: A Biomimetic Design Method and Information Sources
This lecture presents a methodology for applying Biomimicry principles to designing engineering solutions. It also provides details about sources and networks available to seek information about natural systems and Biomimicry design innovation examples. (Back)



Lecture 11: Definitions and Principles of Green Chemistry and Green Chemical Engineering
This lecture outlines the topic of ‘Green Engineering’. It also explores the concept of ‘Green Chemistry’ and provides a description of the 12 Principles developed for this field of science. (Back)



Lecture 12: Green Chemistry and Green Engineering In Practice: A Succinct Overview
This lecture shows through example, explanation, and argument why the application of Green Chemistry and Green Engineering principles can make a significant contribution to sustainable development. It demonstrates that Green Chemistry and Green Engineering are no longer just ideas - they are the basis globally for a multi-billion dollar industry. (Back)

 

Preliminaries

Course Text Book: In the preparation of any education program, and in particular an introductory course, it is a challenge to cover all possible questions or uncertainties that may arise during delivery of the material. In response to this challenge, this course is supported by the text book developed by our team, namely 'Hargroves, K. and Smith, M.H. (2005) The Natural Advantage of Nations: Business Opportunities, Innovation and Governance in the 21st Century, Earthscan, London'. References and optional reading material is provided for each lecture for those who wish to explore the content in more detail.

Acknowledgements: The development of the Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program – Critical Literacies Portfolio has been supported by grants from the following organisations:


- UNESCO, Division of Basic and Engineering Sciences, Natural Sciences Sector (with particular support and mentoring from Tony Marjoram, Senior Programme Specialist - Engineering Sciences, and Françoise Lee).


- The Institution of Engineers Australia, College of Environmental Engineers (with particular support and mentoring from Martin Dwyer, Director Engineering Practice, and Peter Greenwood, Doug Jones, Andrew Downing, Tim Macoun, Julie Armstrong and Paul Varsanyi).


- The Society for Sustainability and Environmental Engineering (with particular support and mentoring from Terrence Jeyaretnam).


Expert review and mentoring has been received from Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister, The Biomimicry Guild (USA); Paul Anastas, Green Chemistry Institute (USA); Alan Pears RMIT University (AUS); Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute (USA); Tom Conner, KBR (AUS); and Mia Kelly, TNEP Working Group (AUS). We would like to add a special thank you to the Engineers Australia review panel Trevor Daniell, Thomas Brinsmead and David Hood.

Citation: Smith, M., Hargroves, K., Desha, C. and Palousis, N. (2007) Engineering Sustainable Solutions Program: Critical Literacies Portfolio - Principles and Practices in Sustainable Development for the Engineering and Built Environment Professions, The Natural Edge Project, Australia. (TNEP)

The Natural Edge Project Engineering Sustainable Solutions
Program is supported by the Australian National Commission
for UNESCO through the International Relations Grants
Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.