Beyond Design for the Environment: Improving Products, Processes, and Actions

University of Pittsburgh, 2007 - $36,130

Design for the Environment (DfE) is a specific set of design practices aimed at creating eco-efficient products and processes. Having recently begun to develop and teach a handful of sustainability courses, Pitt faculty have recently been tasked with forming the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's Sustainability and Green Design Group (SGD).

With this grant, Pitt faculty will develop a new semester-long DfE course aimed at introducing students to DfE tools, real world industry sustainability challenges, and lab experiences. The course will culminate in the judging of multidisciplinary student team business plans and proposed projects. Winning teams will be granted summer residencies, a two-month period in which they will implement their project and create a prototype. Teams will partner with local green organizations and industries who will serve as potential sites and resources to other companies interested in participating in the course. The teams will present the results of their projects at the Student Industrial Ecology Conference.