Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
ER-12: Sustainability Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Sean McGinnis
Director, Green Engineering Program
College of Engineering
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer a program that meets the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive experience(s) offered by the institution:

Virginia Tech offers a variety of immersive, sustainability-focused educational study programs.

One such program is "Sustainable Europe" (VT/UAP #3954/5954 and UVA/PLAN #5500). Sustainable Europe is a four-week immersive, sustainability-focused educational study-abroad program conducted for the fourth consecutive year in 2013. The program is based at Virginia Tech’s Center for European Study and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, and includes Virginia Tech and University of Virginia faculty and students. Undergraduate and graduate students earn six credit hours for the program, which includes field study trips to Lucerne and Bern, Switzerland and Freiburg, Germany.

The 2013 Sustainable Europe program has three modules:

1. Sustainable Energy: Why does the average European account for 40% of the consumed energy and carbon emissions of the average American? What do they know and do that we don’t?

2. Sustainable Water Resource Management: How Do Switzerland and other European countries approach water protection, supply, and risk?

3. Sustainable Transportation in European Cities: How Do European Cities Promote Walking, Cycling, and Public Transport?

To learn more about the Sustainable Europe program, please see: http://europestudies.wordpress.com/

Virginia Tech’s renown College of Engineering also offers a sustainability-focused immersive experience: the Green Engineering Program.

The program defines Green Engineering as “environmentally conscious attitudes, values, and principles, combined with science, technology, and engineering practice, all directed toward improving local and global environmental quality.”

Green Engineering encompasses all of the engineering disciplines, and is consistent and compatible with sound engineering design principles.

Green Engineering focuses on the design of materials, processes, systems, and devices with the objective of minimizing overall environmental impact (including energy utilization and waste production) throughout the entire life cycle of a product or process, from initial extraction of raw materials used in manufacture to ultimate disposal of materials that cannot be reused or recycled at the end of the useful life of a product.

The Green Engineering Program consists of a curriculum (Green Engineering Minor) plus associated research projects and collaborations on and off campus. The minor and core classes are part of the College of Engineering rather than any specific department. Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) have jointly administered the program in recent years. The program is mainly focused on undergraduates, though graduate student interest and opportunities are increasing. There are currently no formal graduate level seminars or classes.

The Green Minor requires 18 credits:
• 2 core classes – ENGR 3124 (Intro to Green Engineering) and ENGR 4134 (Environmental Life Cycle Analysis)
• 2 Engineering Electives (must have engineering department prefix)
• 2 Interdisciplinary Electives (cannot have engineering department prefix)

Student demand for the Green Engineering Program continues to climb:
• 129 green engineering minors awarded in 2011-12 (second only to 150 Math minors in the College of Engineering).
• Approximately 400 students are currently signed up for the green engineering minor

For more information about the Green Engineering Program, please see: www.eng.vt.edu/green


The website URL where information about the immersive experience is available:
---

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.