Green Technology by Design: A New Paradigm for Engineering Education for Sustainable Development

  • Charles Overby
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 2)


In this paper I explore some aspects of the challenge we face in changing the culture and perspective of engineering education so as to achieve a holistic and integrated systems approach to design that includes “design for resource conservation and environmental elegance” or “Green Technology By Design”. These ideas are essential components of any philosophy or program for “sustainable development”. My context for these ideas is the USA. Thus, specifics come from my own country, but the general themes, I believe, are applicable worldwide. Engineering education for the environment has grown up in the USA, in departments of environmental engineering, often housed in civil engineering, and with an “end-of-pipe”, “pollution control” philosophy and mind-set that mirrors the pollution control, regulatory philosophy of government. Today we are beginning to recognize that while “pollution control” is very important and probably always will be, perhaps we also need to think more expansively than from just a “control” perspective to one of “prevention” -- from “pollution control” to “pollution prevention”. It is this transition from a philosophy of “control” to one of “prevention” in the environmental education of engineers, that I address in this paper. I will also suggest a non-coercive model for achieving these needed changes -- namely the model of “quality by design” that has played such a major role in improving the quality of products and processes designed and produced by our society in recent years. Unless we in the “first world” are able to bring these ideas into reality, then I fear that our collective futures on planet earth are likely doomed by “resource wars” and unbelievable entropic environmental degradation.


Engineering Education Environmental Engineering Life Cycle Cost Quality Function Deployment Green Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Overby
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Engineering and Technology, Industrial and Systems Engineering DepartmentOhio UniversityAthensUSA

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