May 23, 2008

Book Review - Sustainable Development for Engineers

Sustainable Development for Engineers: A Handbook and Resource Guide
Edited by Karel Mulder
TA 170 .S87 2006

This book is written based on the premise that engineers will become part of the solution rather than part of the problem if they have a full understanding of the environmental threats that face the world today. Focused around the ideas of sustainable development and design along with technological improvement, this book attempts to make engineers aware of the challenges that face their profession and to provide them with ideas, tools, and techniques that they can use professionally to minimize the negative impacts that their professional work has on the environment and on society. This is not a textbook. Rather, it is a series of thought-provoking essays based on questions, designed to raise the awareness of engineers to the impacts of their work and prompt them to think about their role as facilitators of sustainable lifestyles and work products. The concepts of technology, development, and innovation play important parts in this discussion of sustainability, and this book teaches engineers how to consider the own work within this framework and to measure the impact that it has on the world. This book is a must for all engineers, as well as for students and professionals in related professions. Because of its infrequent use of jargon, it would probably be of interest to general readers who want to expand their thinking as well.