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The University Magazine

University Magazine - Fall 2008 Image

RIT programs help students prepare to make the world greener

RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering has launched master’s degree programs in sustainable engineering that enhance the incorporation of sustainable approaches in traditional engineering education and advance development of sustainability research. The programs include multidisciplinary coursework in lifecycle engineering, design for the environment, alternative energy and public policy.

In addition, the college offers a B.S./M.S. program in mechanical engineering and public policy in partnership with the College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Science Technology and Society/Public Policy, as well as a minor in sustainable product development offered to technically focused majors across campus.
“These programs combine sustainable design and management practices with research and education in industrial and systems and mechanical engineering along with business and public policy,” says Harvey Palmer, dean of the Kate Gleason College. “Our goals include the further development of the emerging discipline of sustainability and the graduation of a new generation of engineers who are adept at applying sustainable principles to engineering practices.”

During the past two years, more than 200 students have enrolled in the sustainable engineering courses.

The College of Engineering also strives to provide students with opportunities to incorporate sustainability into the RIT campus and in the broader community. The college houses a student chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World, an international organization designed to enhance the incorporation of numerous facets of sustainability in engineering, science and society. The RIT chapter is currently working with Rochester’s St. Joseph’s Homeless Shelter.

“Most of us got involved with Engineers for a Sustainable World because we wanted to make our community a better place,” notes Jim Cezo, past president of the RIT chapter. “We all get a lot out of our work with St. Joseph’s because we see the positive impact it has on people’s lives and society as a whole.”

RIT offers other degree programs focused on environmental studies, including:

Will Dube