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Incorporating life cycle assessment and ecodesign tools for green chemical engineering: a case study of competences and learning outcomes assessment

Abstract: Chemical engineers assume a broad range of roles in industry, spanning the development of new process designs, the maintenance and optimization of complex systems, and the production of intermediate materials, final products and new technologies. The technical aptitude that enables chemical engineers to fulfill these various roles along the value chain makes them compelling participants in the environmental assessment of the product in question. Therefore, the introduction of life cycle assessment (LCA) and ecodesign concepts into the chemical engineering curriculum is essential to help these future professionals to face design problems with a holistic view of the technical, economic, social and environmental impacts of their solutions. The teaching of these and other disciplines by means of student-centered methods, based on a holistic structure, have demonstrated better teamwork and communication skills. For that reason, this paper proposes a Micro (Assess-Analyze-Act) (M-3A) model of assessment mainly focused on closing the loop of the learning activities. This model has been applied to an ecodesign case study of the University master' s Degree in chemical engineering of the University of Cantabria/University of the Basque Country, with positive feedback of the students. They felt that the approach has allowed them to utilize their analytical skills in quantifying a situation before applying other subjective measures, and that the public discussion of the results was a satisfactory element for improving their communication skills. Moreover, the students found that the workload was nicely adjusted, highlighting the acquisition of 4 competences preferentially: teamwork, creativity; relevance of environmental issues and initiative and entrepreneurship. Finally, the students suggest that the application of this methodology into their degree could motivate future students improving their performance.

 Autoría: Margallo M., Dominguez-Ramos R., Aldaco R.,

 Fuente: Education for Chemical Engineers, 2019, 26, 89-96

Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 01/01/2019

Nº de páginas: 26

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.ece.2018.08.002

ISSN: 1749-7728

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