18 January 2017

Chemical engineers at University College Cork win teaching award

University College Cork
The Department of Process and Chemical Engineering at University College Cork, Ireland has been named the 2016 winner of the Sustainability Teaching Award.

Presented by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the Award was developed and introduced last year by IChemE’s Education and Sustainability Special Interest Group. It was created to encourage the inclusion of sustainability principles and values into undergraduate teaching of chemical engineering.

IChemE’s Chair of the Sustainability Special Interest Group and Chair of the Judging Panel, Malcolm Wilkinson, said:

“After a successful launch last year we were really pleased to see another round of great entries. It’s clear that sustainability principles are recognised as highly important to the teaching of chemical engineering.

“University College Cork demonstrated that they could integrate sustainability teaching principles across the curriculum, which will provide their chemical engineering students with a set of values to apply to their future careers.”

Entrants are judged based on their ability to incorporate sustainability principles into mainstream teaching, rather than adding “sustainability modules” onto an existing syllabus. The judges were looking for a curriculum which encourages students to learn about new ‘beginning of pipe’ ideas rather than ‘better end of pipe’ solutions.

University College Cork eventually scooped the top prize for successfully integrating sustainability teaching across the curriculum, providing good examples of interdisciplinary projects, coupled with excellent student feedback.

University College Cork’s Chair of Process and Chemical Engineering and Programme Director, Professor Edmond Byrne said:

“We are delighted to receive this award. University College Cork’s chemical engineering programme places sustainability at the forefront of teaching and practice, in light of contemporary societal challenges.

“We offer a research-informed curriculum which provides graduates with a broader sense of context and purpose. This complements and extends their professional imperatives as chemical engineers, indicated in roadmaps for the profession such as IChemE’s Chemical Engineering Matters. Our chemical engineering students, through various feedback opportunities, career directions and successes, have indicated that they both appreciate and benefit from this approach.”

“This award endorses our ambition to provide students with best-in-class teaching to set them up for successful careers as chemical engineers.”

The judges awarded highly commended to University of Manchester’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, for demonstrating excellent sustainable design project case studies and significant industry involvement in to the curriculum.

Individuals and teams looking to enter for the 2017 Sustainability Teaching Award must do so by 15 July 2017. Visit http://bit.ly/SusTeachAward for more information.

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IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).