Global environmental challenges are among the most pressing social and economic issues we face today. And while engineers are often the source of needed inventions and solutions, engineering can inadvertently generate new problems through the products, structures and services that are designed, built, distributed, consumed and thrown away. There is momentum and demand to instill sustainability and environmental and social considerations as core tenets of the engineering profession.
Higher education faculty, leaders and institutions need resources and tools to support the scale and urgency of the curricular transformation that is required. With funding from The Lemelson Foundation and under the umbrella of the signature EOP (Engineering for One Planet) Framework to equip engineers with skills, knowledge and understanding to protect the planet and the life it sustains, ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) has developed and is deploying a Mini-Grant Program (MGP) aligned with transforming US higher education.
The ultimate goal of this program is to incentivize faculty to take on and follow through with this EOP work by supporting them with a Community of Practice, Mentoring and Mini-Grant funding as they design and pilot curricula that focus on instilling concepts of sustainability.
The inaugural cohort of the Engineering for One Planet—Mini-Grant Program (EOP-MGP) launched in the Spring 2022 and culminated with an Online Symposium on January 25, 2023. Cohort IIawardees were announced in early May 2023, and convened with the Opening Community of Practice meeting on May 31, 2023.