Over time, I refined the four primary student learning objectives and developed a new course structure to maximize the industry partnership. Student Learning Outcomes Students completing this course should be able to: ■ Apply the fundamentals of sustainable product design ■ Demonstrate a systems thinking approach to sustainable product design ■ Explore how societal benefits impact engineering solutions ■ Provide environmental performance data in a straightforward and compelling manner By Jun-Ki Choi Assistant Professor, University of Dayton Elevating Sustainability in Engineering Design C reating value does not end at the point of sale or when a product is delivered to a consumer. It extends over the entire life cycle of a product, meaning that sustainability goes hand in hand with value creation. To evaluate product sustainability from creation to disposal, designers can use life cycle analysis (LCA). This forces engineers out of normal routine; they consider the types of materials, energies, and methodologies that are used in production. Well-designed sustainable products not only reduce environmental impact, but potentially perform better, last longer, and are more affordable. In short, sustainable products create value. Sustainability is an increasingly important factor for many students. I was surprised to learn that nearly three out of four Millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Even more surprising is the 50 percent increase in this statistic from just one year ago. And it’s not just Millennials. Generation Z through Boomers are increasingly willing to pay more for sustainable products (see Nielsen’s global online study). This interest has reached all the way to my classroom. As evidence, there’s a significant increase in the number of students registering for Design for Environment (DfE), a course I developed at the University of Dayton. To enhance the DfE learning experience for students, I needed to assign design challenges with a company who “gets it.” I found that willing partner in Crown Equipment Corporation, headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio. Crown began its operation in a one room facility in rural Ohio and has grown to one of the five largest lift truck manufacturers in the world. Crown now has 18 manufacturing facilities and over 500 retail locations in 84 countries. I was elated when I discovered their focus on sustainability and interest in shaping the next generation of engineers. Now in its fourth semester, the partnership provides insightful learning opportunities to students through information sharing and real- world projects. Students appreciate the connection. 40 41