Including sustainability and circularity in the curriculum

Sustainability and reusability must be a central part of technical studies, also in Twente. In construction related study subjects, circularity and sustainability are already an integral part of the program. In other technical study areas, however, this is not the case. The Circular Education Deal describes how technicians should approach problems during their studies. The aim is to make an educational contribution to solving climate problems and to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

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The Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI) endorses this sustainable goal. Within and outside the professional association for higher educated technicians, they see a growing demand for a greener educational landscape. Their objectives are mainly to raise awareness about the use of materials, energy consumption and the life cycle of machines and processes. Young engineers increasingly consciously opt for sustainable and circular solutions because they want to make a positive impact on the earth’s environment. KIVI is committed to improving the quality of life in society with technological solutions to social problems.

Future-proof solar car

Solar Team Twente has signed the Circular Education Deal which means that the team is committed to sharing their knowledge with various technical studies in and outside of Twente. The new generation of technicians radiates optimism about the future because they expect that there will be more and more attention for sustainability and reusability. Keeping the earth liveable triggers them. Solar Team Twente strongly believes in solar energy being an inexhaustible and clean energy source. With the biannual development and construction of a new solar car, the student engineers emphasize on making their car future proof. Every edition the team involves students at primary and secondary schools in Twente, as well as students at ROC van Twente, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the University of  Twente. They participate and contribute to the challenges of the Solar Team Twente.

Visibility

Clients of production companies in Twente also increasingly start to ask for sustainability and circularity. For producers and suppliers, it can be hard to make both elements visible in their products and services. Employers in the production industry mainly need engineers with specialist knowledge, while that is sometimes at odds with broader, social topics that emerge after graduation. Looking from a broader perspective, multidisciplinary and future proof collaboration is called for. This way, technologies and techniques become fully integrated into society.

Exchanging knowledge and skills

As part of the Circular Education Deal, KIVI wants to exchange experiences and expectations about how "sustainability" and "circularity" are logically integrated into curricula. It should inspire others to share even more knowledge and skills for a sustainable future. Solar Team Twente went down that road a long time ago. Since 2005 the team has been developing solar cars, racing them ‘down under’ in Australia. This way, they contribute significantly to the technological development of solar energy in the mobility industry. This directly contributes to the “smart cities” Global Goal, in which electric transportation is identified as a key enabler of sustainable metropolitan conglomerates.

Date: 22 November 2018
Source of tekst: De Ingenieur
Author: Twente.com

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