Tackling multi-faceted sustainable development (SD) problems requires interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Traditionally, and over time, engineering education in HE has become increasingly siloed, with engineers from a majority of disciplines being directed towards attaining only a set of subject-specific knowledge and skills. Together with using mainly closed brief assignments and analysis problems, this leads to graduates with narrow sets of perspectives and skills that are neither equipped with the tools that are required to tackle the present or future SD issues, nor the transferrable skills essential to business environments and desired by industry. This case study showcases our approach within Aston University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) in using interdisciplinary open brief problem-baed learning (PBL) to break down the barriers between different engineering subject groups, while stimulating higher levels of thinking through utilisation of design problems related to real-life SD issues in developing countries.
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