EESD15 draws world’s leaders in engineering education for sustainable development to UBC-Vancouver

Thursday, June 25, 2015 | By Lindsay Cashin

Just over 100 of the world’s thought-leaders in the field of engineering education for sustainable development recently descended on UBC-Vancouver for EESD15.

The 7th Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, co-chaired by Professors Susan Nesbit and Thomas Froese of UBC Civil Engineering, ran June 9 – 12 and was the first in the international series of EESD conferences to take place outside of Europe. The event drew academics, industry professionals, and rising student stars from around the world to the Vancouver campus for four inspiring days of knowledge exchange, reflection, and networking. Professional Breadth and Technical Depth: Cultivating the T-Shaped Engineer was the theme of the conference, and a passionate complement of delegates embraced the opportunity to share and learn best practices in pedagogy innovation, curriculum re-design and assessment, community engagement in engineering education, student development, and more.

The conference program included an array of invigorating technical sessions and workshops; walking tours showcasing cutting-edge sustainability features of the UBC-Vancouver campus; an exciting poster session showcasing student research; and a Stakeholder Dialogue Afternoon featuring special guests from industry, the NGO sector, and other stakeholder groups who were invited to lead discussions around the topic of Accelerating Engineering Practice for Triple-Bottom-Line Sustainability.

Keynote addresses, described by one delegate as “very inspiring indeed,” were given by Professor-of-Practice Jim Cooney of the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University, Dr. Cynthia J. Atman of the Centre for Engineering Learning and Teaching at the University of Washington, and Dr. Karel F. Mulder, Leader of the Education for Sustainable Development Project at Delft University of Technology. Feedback from delegates on all aspects of the conference was overwhelmingly positive.

Professors Nesbit and Froese extend sincere thanks to all conference partners and sponsors, as well as members of the conference steering committee, technical committee, local organizing committee, and the wonderful UBC support staff and conference volunteers all of whom made EESD15 a conference to remember.