Sustainable engineering refers to the integration of social, environmental, and economic considerations into product, process, and energy system design methods. Additionally, sustainable engineering encourages the consideration of the complete product and process lifecycle during the design effort. The intent is to minimize environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle while simultaneously maximizing the benefits to social and economic stakeholders.
The master of engineering in sustainable engineering is multidisciplinary and managed by the industrial and systems engineering department. The program builds on RIT’s work in sustainability research and education and offers students the flexibility to develop tracks in areas such as renewable energy systems, systems modeling and analysis, product design, and engineering policy and management. The degree program is offered on campus and may be completed on a full- or part-time basis.
The program is designed to accomplish the following educational objectives:
- Heightened awareness of issues in areas of sustainability (e.g., global warming, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, pollution, ethical issues, fair trade, gender equity, etc.).
- A clear understanding of the role and impacts of various aspects of engineering (design, technology, etc.) and engineering decisions on environmental, societal, and economic problems. Particular emphasis is placed on the potential trade-offs between environmental, social, and economic objectives.
- Strong ability to apply engineering and decision-making tools and methodologies to sustainability-related problems.
- Demonstrated capacity to distinguish professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of engineering.
Plan of study
Technical in nature, the program equips engineers with the tools they need to meet the challenges associated with delivering goods, energy, and services through sustainable means. In addition to basic course work in engineering and classes in public policy and environmental management, students are required to complete a capstone project directly related to sustainable design challenges impacting society. Many of these projects can be incorporated into sustainability-themed research by RIT faculty in the areas of fuel-cell development, life-cycle engineering, and sustainable process implementation.
Students must successfully complete a total of 30 credit hours through course work and a capstone project. This program is designed to be completed in three semesters.
- Oil and Gas
- Utilities and Renewable Energy
Sustainable engineering, ME degree, typical course sequence
- ISEE-785 Fundamentals of Sustainable Engineering
- ISEE-771 Engineering of Systems I
- MECE-629 Renewable Energy Systems
- ISEE-786 Lifecycle Assessment
- Engineering Elective
- ISEE-792 Engineering Capstone
- Engineering Elective
- Social Context Elective
- Technology Elective
To be considered for admission to the ME program in sustainable engineering, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
- Complete a graduate application.
- Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in engineering, mathematics, or science.
- Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent).
- Submit scores from the GRE.
- Submit a statement of purpose.
- Submit three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
- International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.