Contribution of international environmental design competitions in raising the profile of environmental education in engineering students

Sabah A. Abdul-Wahab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Every two years since 2000, the College of Engineering at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), has held a Student Environmental Design Competition, where engineering students from all over the world converge to put their best designs to the test. It is a cooperative effort between industry, government agencies, and academia to tackle real environmental problems facing industry in the region, ne teams must prepare four different assignments: written, oral, poster and bench scale design. The concept of the competition is interesting because the engineering students are to approach the task as though a company has asked them to solve an environmental problem. Each team design is compared and judged with other competing designs to decide the winners. And more importantly, the competition is a unique event that brings together industry, government, and academica in the search for improved environmental solutions. It also provides the engineering design content required by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Hence, it is one solution to the missing bridge between fundamentals of engineering and appropriate design training that is a basic issue in engineering education. In the Third International Design Competition (EDC 2004) which was held on May 2-5, 2004, at the UAEU, 20 competing teams comprising 60 students participated. The competition gathered students from regional and international universities to tackle real environmental challenges while addressing issues including technical, legal, health, community relations and economics. The goal of the competition was to design, develop, and test actual environmental processes for real-world problems. Typically, the environmental tasks presented had no known solution, or the available solutions did not meet the desired performance criteria. In this competition, 6 students from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), College of Engineering (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department) participated. The SQU team received first place in two tasks. This paper presents the experience and highlights the need for such competitions to raise environmental awareness of engineering students. All competing teams agreed that this competition was the best part of their engineering education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-980
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5 PART I AND II
Publication statusPublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)


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