Daniele Palmer reports on UCL winning the inaugural sustainability award
Announced on November 2nd, the international Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has awarded UCL’s Chemical Engineering department a prize for their teaching on sustainability.
The body, which accredits chemical engineering degree programmes and operates in over 120 countries, has commended UCL’s innovative and effective approach for integrating sustainability into their curriculum.
The panel “were particularly impressed by the use of scenario based learning in the first year to introduce sustainability principles in the absence of a significant body of chemical engineering knowledge and then building and strengthening these concepts through the course leading up to the design project.”
The deputy head (Education) for the department, Eva Sorensen commented by saying that there has been “a reorganisation of our undergraduate programme, with an extensive use of scenario-based learning and projects that focus strongly on major societal challenges, sustainability and safety.” She continued, saying, “The impact is already noticeable, with students being far more motivated and having a much clearer appreciation of their responsibilities [as] the chemical engineers of the future.”
UCL won the award because of its integration of key ecological issues into a mainstream programme. IChemE applauded the department’s choice of not merely adding modules to the core course, but merging it with the existing content, allowing a greater understanding of the principles alongside a traditional chemical engineering education.
The award was open to 59 universities across the world, which offered IChemE accredited courses.
The institute highly commended the University of Newcastle, for its workshops and case-studies aimed at elucidating the methods and concepts of sustainability. The institute will now construct a series of best practice case studies, using UCL and Newcastle as examples.
UCL will formally receive the award at the IChemE AGM in May 2016.
Featured image credit: UCL Chemical Engineering