Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical and Biomechanical Engineering

Major Advisor

Don Plumlee, Ph.D.


Todd Otanicar, Ph.D.


Courtney Hollar, Ph.D.


Within industries, governments, and accreditation organizations, there has been a push to incorporate sustainability concepts into their models. Universities like Boise State University (BSU) have already begun to place greater emphasis in inclusion of sustainability concepts in different engineering department curricula. As part of this effort, BSU plans to redesign courses to integrate sustainability concepts using active learning modules (ALMs) suited for each grade level and discipline. The effectiveness of these modules will be evaluated across disciplines. In support of this larger goal, the work in this study will specifically focus on mechanical engineering students.

A survey instrument was developed for distribution to BSU mechanical engineering students and mechanical engineering alumni to investigate their knowledge and attitudes towards these topics but particularly in sustainable practices. In addition, interviews were conducted where alumni were able to discuss their values and learning retention with sustainable development. It is estimated that there will be approximately 200 participants across both the student and alumni survey. By applying a mixed methods approach to the survey instrument, students and Boise State Engineering alumni will have the opportunity to express their perception of BSU’s current integration of sustainability concepts. The responses will allow mechanical engineering courses to accurately and effectively present sustainable concepts. The results will be presented with demographics Likert-scaled bar graphs that includes the interpretation of the p-value, standard deviation and mean. This paper addresses the challenges and issues that academic and industry facilities face when bridging these engineering practices with these concepts.