Call for papers Engineering Education in Sustainable Development Delft, October 24-25, 2002


Call for papers

Engineering Education in Sustainable Development
Delft, 24 - 25 October 2002

The necessity of Sustainable Development

Engineering has enabled humanity to live on its planet in unprecedented numbers with unprecedented wealth. However, in the last decades, the conviction has grown that humanity has reached a new limit: a limit that is set by reaching a barrier that we had not thought of before: Planet Earth and the resources it contains are finite.

The resources that create our wealth are being exhausted with increasing speed. Moreover, these resources are mainly being consumed by the richest part of the global population. Global equity is therefore directly related to the use of natural resources.

Our unprecedented level of consumption is accompanied by a range of emissions into the natural environment. The problems created by these emissions first showed up locally, which implied that they could be handled by local measures. Today it seems that many problems are occurring on a global, or at least a continental scale. Generic measures, like the development and application of far more efficient technology, are therefore of increasing importance.

However, recognising that our industrial ecology will collide with the boundaries set by our planet is not enough to prevent a collision. Over-exploitation of natural systems should change before these systems collapse, but if there are no viable alternatives for the people depending on that exploitation, change becomes impossible. Solutions have to be created that enable us to fulfil our needs within the capacity of the earth's system. However, this can only be achieved if global equity issues are solved too.

Sustainable Development, a challenge for Engineers !

With a predicted 10 billion people on this planet in 2050, we have to take giant leaps in the efficiency of our production in order to prevent the collapse of natural systems. Technology will play a key role in the changes that are needed. However, we have learned from failures in the past that technology cannot contribute to such aims if it is developed just for its own sake, and not for the fulfilment of the breadth of society's needs. The future depends on the creativity of engineers to achieve these crucial changes in such a way.

Engineers must be trained to take that role. This implies recognising the problems that mankind faces, understanding both the role that technology plays in their solution and the limits of technological solutions and finally being able to handle the complex situations in which differing social, economic and environmental interests intermingle.

At the Delft University of Technology a project has been running since 1998 to introduce Sustainable Development (SD) into engineering education. Although we take pride in our work, we would certainly not pretend to have found the ultimate answers for the questions "What should future engineers know" and "How do we teach it to them?"

Conference topics

We would like to invite you to share with us your experiences and submit proposals for papers to be presented at the conference.

We welcome papers that: 

Suggestions for (additional) special themes that are related to the overall conference theme can be sent to the Secretariat of the scientific committee.

Submission of abstracts

Abstracts with a maximum length of 400 words must be submitted before 1 January 2002. All abstracts will be refereed by our international scientific panel. The full papers are due 1 August 2002.

Abstracts can be send to

Aula Conference Centre
Congress Office
Mekelweg 5
NL-2628 CC Delft, The Netherlands
e-mail: congressoffice∂

All further inquiries can be sent to the conference secretariat Karel F. Mulder
Delft University of Technology
Faculty of Technology Policy & Management
Technology Assessment
Jaffalaan 5
NL-2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 - 15 - 2 78 10 43
Fax: +31 - 15 - 2 78 31 77
e-mail: k.f.mulder∂

Further information on the conference is available at: