CIVL 200 (3 cr): Engineering and Sustainable Development

CIVL 200

Course Outline

  • Assignments
  • Final exam

Course Description

An introduction to the concepts, principles and practices of sustainability in response to local/global challenges. Emphasis is on the implications of a finite biosphere, the complexities inherent in sustainability-oriented decision-making, and the roles and responsibilities of engineers. Means and mechanisms which support sustainability and tools for engineers are also explored.

This course is designed for undergraduate civil engineering students, in particular, but is appropriate and open to all students.

(NOTE: If you are not a civil student and the course appears to be full when you attempt to register, please do use the wait list and send an email to the instructor as per instructions. Once civil numbers are determined, additional seats will be released.)

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  1. describe the key issues, principles and processes of sustainable development;
  2. demonstrate awareness of your roles and responsibilities regarding sustainable development as both a citizen and engineer;
  3. apply your understanding of various means (actions, responses, approaches) to facilitate sustainable development;
  4. identify and raise questions about sustainability-related issues in your future courses/work;
  5. incorporate sustainability considerations in your designs and analyses of issues and problems;
  6. incorporate sustainable development approaches/methods in your decision-making and problem-solving activities;
  7. define your particular needs/interests regarding future study to further your knowledge and skills in areas related to sustainable development.

Course Outline

Topic Area 1: The Problem
Lesson 1: The Problem

Topic Area 2: Sustainable Development
Lesson 2: Sustainable Development

Topic Area 3: Systems
Lesson 3.1: Introduction to Systems Theory
Lesson 3.2: Natural Systems (ecosystems, global processes, biodiversity)
Lesson 3.3: Human Systems (needs, values, governance, economics)
Lesson 3.4: System Relations

Topic Area 4: Community Sustainability
(Approaches, decision-making, indicators, assessment)

Topic Area 5: Engineering Means and Mechanisms
Lesson 5.1: Boundaries
Lesson 5.2: Making Choices: Life Cycle Analysis
Lesson 5.3: Illustrations

Topic Area 6: Sustainable Development and the Engineer
Lesson 6: Policies, Guidelines and Roles

Assignments and Grading

Requirements include completion of assignments and a final exam (you must pass the exam to pass the course.) Assignments include individual work that you submit to the instructor or post to a discussion forum, as well as group assignments. Refer to the online list of assignments for further detail.

Your final grade for this course is calculated from a total of 100 marks, distributed as follows:

Assignments: 60%
Participation: 5%
Final Exam: 35%
Total: 100%

Learning Resources

CIVL 200 Custom Course Materials (Distance Education Section).

Instructor comment:
Most of the readings in the CCM are either now online or there are similar resources online.  A few copies of the CCM are available on reserve in the library.  Unless you prefer to have your own hardcopy version of all the readings, you may save money and resources by using what is online and accessing the reserve copy as needed.

CIVL200 Custom Course Materials Order Form

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