The teaching of sustainable development at Aston University

J. P. Fletcher, J. A. Drahun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


In previous papers the authors have discussed the introduction of the teaching of sustainable development at Aston University through the use of a role play of the application for planning permission for the expansion of a factory making plastic windows. Students are assigned to interdisciplinary teams. This work has been developed in the past few years. The learning objectives and outcomes have remained unchanged but the way in which they are taught has changed significantly. Teaching makes extensive use of a commercial virtual learning environment to support student interaction. Students are assessed directly on social and technical aspects, including assessing the impact of the raw materials used for the process. Students are introduced to Simapro, commercial software for life cycle assessment. The project ends with a presentation of the role play in the form of a planning enquiry. This has now become an established part of the programme for final year students of chemical engineering and mechanical design. It is necessary to explain carefully the significance of it to the students. Furthermore it is intended to develop the use of Simapro in this and other teaching modules.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 37th Annual Conference 2009
PublisherSociété Eropéenne pour la Formation des Ingénieurs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSEFI 37th Annual Conference 2009 - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jul 20094 Jul 2009


ConferenceSEFI 37th Annual Conference 2009


  • interdisciplinary
  • role play
  • sustainability


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