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JMU Engineering Students’ Global Green Efforts

James Madison University’s inaugural class in the School of Engineering is graduating in May, and as Charles Fishburne tells us in this WCVE Public Radio Science Matters Report, its students are already working on Green projects around the world.

JMU’s School of Engineering: In December of 2005, James Madison University set out on a mission to develop a new kind of engineering degree program. They have created a program that prepares school of engineering graduates to improve the sustainability of our world by analyzing problems and designing solutions in the context of technical, economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Overview: A task force of faculty from the College of Integrated Science and Technology, the College of Science and Mathematics, and the College of Business, envisioned a new degree program that combined the best elements from a strong Liberal Arts education with a strong science, technology, engineering, math, and business curriculum.

Recommendations from the National Academy of Engineering and ideas from faculty, industry representatives, and popular literature were combined with ABET* accreditation standards and requirements from the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination to develop a different kind of engineering curriculum which will, in turn, produce a different kind of engineering graduate. The task force developed a list of desired learning objectives and educational outcomes for the new degree program. Using the ABET accreditation criteria and the FE licensure exam as guidelines, more than 200 detailed learning objectives were developed and mapped to the individual courses in the new curriculum.

The result of this work is a new School of Engineering at James Madison University. The  inaugural freshman class was accepted in August 2008. The new school offers a single, interdisciplinary engineering bachelor’s degree that is designed to meet ABET accreditation standards and prepare graduates for the FE examination. The 4-year, 120-credit curriculum focuses on sustainability, engineering design, and integrated systems analysis. 

What role does sustainability play in engineering?
JMU’s engineering graduates possess the knowledge and skills to design products, manufacturing processes, and technological systems that do not deplete, diminish, or degrade environmental quality and natural resources.  James Madison University’s School of Engineering graduates its very first class in May, 2012.

*Formerly known as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, changed the name to ABET in 2005.

For more information contact James Madison University.