ACIE Award 2009
Enhancing Crosscutting Sustainability Education
in Civil Engineering
Amy LandisCivil & Environmental Engr
BENDM 943 Pittsburgh
Piervincenzo RizzoCivil & Environmental Engr
BENDM 942 Pittsburgh
Melissa BilecCivil & Environmental Engr
BENDM 1121 Pittsburgh
As environmental concerns surge worldwide, sustainability education is becoming increasingly important. With this in mind, Amy Landis is collaborating with Piervincenzo Rizzo and Melissa Bilec (all three from Civil & Environmental Engineering) on the ACIE project Enhancing Crosscutting Sustainability Education in Civil Engineering. This project introduced sustainability into Rizzo’s course, Introduction to Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring, in which students learn how to assess the soundness of structures and materials.
Students in Rizzo’s course collaborate in activities with students from Landis and Bilec’s courses—Green Buildings: Design and Construction and Design for the Environment—to track energy loss in their homes or university buildings using an infrared camera. Then students in all three classes calculate energy and cost losses and propose solutions that save energy and money. Students from Green Buildings and Design for the Environment also use air quality devices to assess buildings’ indoor air quality, then discuss how the quality can be improved through green instruction techniques. By using new technology and calculations to make the topic more concrete, Landis hopes this project will bring home the importance of sustainability in engineering education and help the University become a leader in sustainability and green design.