ERE 405/605

Sustainable Engineering




Stewart Diemont

Baker Lab 421



Meeting Times

Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00-9:20 a.m., Baker 432



Allen, D.T., Shonnard, D.R., 2012. Sustainable Engineering: Concepts, Design, and Case Studies. Prentice Hall.


Course Description:

In this course we will examine the nature of the very large challenges in front of us as our premium fuels are depleted. We will explore and attempt to develop solutions to consequent societal and environmental problems in a changing world that is facing climate change and regional water shortages. Our focus will be on examining less energy intensive, lower pollution, and resource conserving approaches to the main needs of society. We will use ecological engineering and sustainable engineering theory and practice as a framework for our designs and will be informed by sustainability metrics to gauge potential success. We will explore the ecological engineering and sustainability science literature and consider and measure sustainability of the built environment.


During this course you will develop a working knowledge of sustainability analysis tools, an ability to use a sustainability analysis metric to determine the relative sustainability of system components and to measure the sustainability of different design solutions. You will develop an increased understanding of current literature and topics in ecological and sustainable engineering. Specific topics will include: emergy theory, emergy indices, life cycle assessment, energy capture and conservation, water capture and conservation, waste re-use and industrial ecology, sustainability theory, LEED, urban design, rural design, sustainable and alternative energy, source reduction, food production, food conservation, poverty and resource equality, aesthetics and visual appeal, water equality, and ecosystem services.




20% Quizzes

10% Homework

10% Project status report

10% Project presentation

30% Project final report

20% Participation– registration for ERE 405


20% Sustainability evaluation of topic related to your thesis, dissertation or project (1) – registration for ERE 605. Students registered for ERE 405 may request to replace Participation with this option.