Sustainable engineering refers to the integration of social, environmental, and economic considerations into product, process, and energy system design methods. Additionally, sustainable engineering encourages the consideration of the complete product and process lifecycle during the design effort. The intent is to minimize environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle while simultaneously maximizing the benefits to social and economic stakeholders. The MS in sustainable engineering is multidisciplinary and managed by the industrial and systems engineering department.
The program builds on RIT’s work in sustainability research and education and offers students the flexibility to develop tracks in areas such as renewable energy systems, systems modeling and analysis, product design, and engineering policy and management. Course work is offered on campus and available on a full- or part-time basis.
The program is designed to accomplish the following educational objectives:
- Heighten awareness of issues in areas of sustainability (e.g., global warming, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, pollution, ethical issues, fair trade, gender equity, etc.).
- Establish a clear understanding of the role and impact of various aspects of engineering (design, technology, etc.) and engineering decisions on environmental, societal, and economic problems. Particular emphasis is placed on the potential trade-offs between environmental, social, and economic objectives.
- Strong ability to apply engineering and decision-making tools and methodologies to sustainability-related problems.
- Demonstrate a capacity to distinguish professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of engineering.
Plan of study
Technical in nature, the program equips engineers with the tools they need to meet the challenges associated with delivering goods, energy, and services through sustainable means. In addition to basic course work in engineering and classes in public policy and environmental management, students are required to complete a research thesis directly related to sustainable design challenges impacting society. Many thesis projects support the sustainability-themed research being conducted by RIT faculty in the areas of fuel-cell development, life-cycle engineering, and sustainable process implementation.
Students must successfully complete a total of 33 semester credit hours of course work comprised of five required core courses; two graduate engineering electives in an area of interest such as energy, modeling, manufacturing and materials, transportation and logistics, or product design and development; one social context elective; one environmental technology elective; two semesters of Graduate Seminar I, II (ISEE-795, 796); and a thesis. This research-oriented program is designed to be completed in two years.
- First Year
Fundamentals of Sustainable Engineering Engineering of Systems I Renewable Energy Systems Graduate Seminar I Lifecycle Assessment Engineering Electives Graduate Seminar II
- Second Year
Technology Elective Social Context Elective Research and Thesis