sustainability engineering courses

Engineering Courses

Civil Engineering Courses Offered with Sustainability Content

Senior Design Project 1
Senior Design Project 2
Ethics and Professional Issues
CE Management Practices
Sustainable Construction
Environmental Management and Sustainability
Urban Hydraulics

Mechanical Engineering Courses Offered with Sustainability Content

Undergraduate Courses
Thermodynamics
Alternative Energy Fundamentals

Graduate Courses
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
Solar and Wind Energy Generation
Energy and Environmental Management 1
Biofuels and Biomass Energy Engineering
Hybrid Electric Vehicles 


Senior Design Project 1

Course Number: ECE 4021
Sustainability Content:
Students are encouraged to apply the principles of sustainability to the design of a civil engineering project.  This may include incorporating design strategies necessary to develop sufficient points to qualify as a LEED certified building, and it may also involve estimation of carbon footprint.

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Senior Design Project 2

Course Number: ECE 4033
Sustainability Content:
Students are encouraged to apply the principles of sustainability to the design of a civil engineering project.  This may include incorporating design strategies necessary to develop sufficient points to qualify as a LEED certified building, and it may also involve estimation of carbon footprint.

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Ethics and Professional Issues

Course Number: ECE 4051
Sustainability Content:
Key sustainability concepts are introduced and reviewed, and how these are relevant to civil engineering.

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 CE Management Practices

Course Number: ECE 4243
Sustainability Content:
Key sustainability concepts are introduced and reviewed, and how these are relevant to civil engineering.

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Sustainable Construction

Course Number: ECE 5113
Sustainability Content:
This course will introduce to engineering students different aspects of sustainability on building and engineering construction projects. Sustainability considerations will be covered at every stage of the lifecycle of a constructed facility, from project planning, feasibility study, design, construction, occupancy or usage, to disposal and demolition.  State-of-the-art concepts and techniques on sustainable construction will be illustrated in the class. Legal requirements, engineering cost analysis, and current incentive programs on sustainability will also be introduced.  Construction projects with good sustainability practices will be demonstrated as case studies; and field trips may be arranged to visit these projects.

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Environmental Management and Sustainability

Course Number: ECE 5353
Sustainability Content:
Designing and implementing environmental regulations and impact assessment programs. Techniques used in environmental impact assessment and regulation. Methods of analysis and the process of environmental planning and management.

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Urban Hydraulics

Course Number: ECE 5543 
Sustainability Content: This course covers the theory, planning, analysis, and design of hydraulic structures in urban areas such as pipe networks, impoundments, spillways, culverts, etc.    Sustainability in stormwater management is introduced.

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Thermodynamics

Course Number: EGE 3003
Sustainability Content:
Various sections of the course cover engine efficiency including homework and exam questions.  Also sections on the Second Law of Thermodynamics are covered which includes homework and an exam. Essentially these topics are a foundation for energy management and design of sustainable energy sources.

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Alternative Energy Fundamentals

Course Number: EGE 3903
Sustainability Content:
This is a technical elective course in alternative energy.  We briefly review thermodynamics, electrical principles, the related technologies for electric power and the current status of our non-renewable energy sources.  We then introduce the multidisciplinary topics of alternative energy, including fuel cells, solar energy (photovoltaic and solar heating), wind energy (turbines), hydrogen energy, biomass, geothermal, wave and tidal energy.  Energy generation system integration is also discussed.

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Fuel Cells and Hydrogen

Course Number: EME 5163/6163
Sustainability Content: This graduate course discusses the fundamental science and engineering of fuel cells and fuel processors, the generation of hydrogen and its safe handling and storage.  The course provides a brief overview and introduction to the history and background of fuel cells.  The fundamental chemistry and electrochemistry principles are addressed early and lay the foundations of understanding for the duration of the course.  Half-cell reactions, the Nernst equation, the operating electrochemical thermodynamics, along with the Butler-Volmer equation and Tafel plots are explored.  The major types of fuel cells are reviewed, and their basic designs and their key components are discussed, including ionic conducting materials, electrodes, membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA), gas diffusion layers, manifolds, and bipolar plates. 

The operation and performance of fuel cells are assessed and the various contributing components to over-potential losses in the polarization and power curves are considered.  Fuel cell systems are then discussed, including humidification, cooling, fuel and oxygen introduction, and controls.  Possible methods of system modeling are reviewed.  When possible, examples of operational fuel cells will be demonstrated in the LTU Fuel Cell laboratory. 

To address the major question "where will the hydrogen come from?" the topic of fuel reforming, and the challenges of processing gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and other hydro-carbon fuels are evaluated.  Other forms of hydrogen generation, including electrolysis, are analyzed and assessed.  The storage, handling and safety, and the use of hydrogen as a viable energy carrier are also topics.  Lastly, the evaluation of fuel cells and their efficiencies as integrated systems are assessed.  Several additional references from a variety of recent technical journals relating to fuel cells, their performance and hydrogen systems will be introduced and reviewed by students to supplement the learning process.

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Solar and Wind Energy Generation

Course Number: EME5193
Sustainability Content: This course focuses on the solar and wind energy generation technologies in the broader area of alternative energy.  We briefly review elements of atmospheric science that are relevant to wind and solar technologies, and then introduce the multidisciplinary topics of wind energy turbines, and solar energy, which includes solar heating (passive and active) and photovoltaics.  We also introduce related technologies for electric power line-current processing and conditioning. 

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Energy and Environmental Management 1

Course Number: EGE5303
Sustainability Content:
Almost the entire course can be considered sustainability education.  Two-thirds of the course focuses on energy management and one-third focuses on environmental management.  It is heavily project based with students performing energy conservation plans, energy audits, environmental impact assessment, and environmental emergency preparedness plans.  The students also give a 20 minute presentation on a technical topic related to energy management or environmental management.

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Biofuels and Biomass Energy Engineering

Course Number: EME 5313
Sustainability Content:
This course explores the methods and process of energy conversion and generation using biomass materials as an energy source.  An initial review of traditional energy technologies is presented with a review of related general chemistry and organic chemistry concepts to facilitate the student's foundational understanding for the course.  Important concepts of climate, solar energy and photosynthesis are presented.  The nature and critical energy conversion processes related to biomass energy sources are discussed including organic substances such as woody type materials, vegetable oils from oil laden plants, agricultural and animal wastes, municipal solid wastes, pyrolysis, and ethanol production from fermented sugars, biodiesel, and the production of synthetic fuels using the Fisher-Tropsch process.  When possible, specific examples of these energy conversion processes are demonstrated in the Alternative energy laboratory.

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Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Course Number: EME6473
Sustainability Content:
The course addresses fuel economy improvements, emission reduction and use of sustainable and renewable energy sources.

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