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EME 807 - Technologies for Sustainability Systems

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


Description: EME 807 is a required course for the Sustainability Management and Policy option in the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS) program. It overviews a wide range of contemporary technologies in the context of sustainability and examines metrics for their assessment. The course explores the main principles that guide modern science and technology towards sustainable solutions. It covers such topics as resource management technologies, waste and wastewater treatment, renewable energy technologies, high-performance buildings and transportation systems, demand-response technologies, green chemistry, and more. Learning in EME 807 heavily relies on real-life examples and taps into current practices of technology analysis. This course goes beyond understanding the background, fostering critical thinking, and challenging the students to draw connections between social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainable technologies.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • articulate the technical and economic fundamentals of key existing and emerging sustainable technologies;
  • demonstrate how the economic and technical performance of various technologies can be measured and compared;
  • identify the technical, economic, and social obstacles to the implementation of sustainable technologies;
  • choose social, environmental, and economic metrics to assess sustainable technologies for long-term promise and commercialization;
  • develop a realistic scenario for sustainable technology implementation at a specific location or facility.

Required Materials

Typically, there are no required materials for this course. If this changes, students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.




The nature and scope of this course will require learning a wide variety of topics from a variety of resources. You will have a very short time to familiarize yourself with a particular subject or area of technology and extract the information that is useful. I did my best to find and put together proper materials for each lesson; however, if you feel the need for more explanation, details, or examples, be proactive and expand your online research. You should not expect the information to be fed to you in the final form; you will have to build your own knowledge system and learn how to use it practically. That said, I will always be ready to communicate, help, and discuss your learning experiences.

On average, students report that they spend eight to twelve hours per week working on a 3-credit online course. You will have the flexibility to spread that workload according to your schedule and study habits. Time spent may depend on your prior experience with the web learning environment and reading pace. You will be expected to participate in online discussion forums at least twice a week.

Success in this class depends significantly on the effort you put into your course project. It is important to work on it throughout the course and keep track of milestones and deadlines. The project will give you the flexibility to work on a topic of your career interest and will allow bringing your existing expertise to the course study.

Major Assignments

This course will rely on a variety of methods to assess and evaluate student learning, including:

Discussion forums (20% of total course grade)

Students will be evaluated on their comprehension of lesson materials, critical thinking, and active engagement in forum communications.

Written assignments (30% of total course grade)

Students will investigate lesson topics and provide short reports on chosen technologies or systems. Students will be assessed based on the depth of research, the use of appropriate information sources, objectivity, and the clear communication of results.

Individual course project (50% of total course grade)

The individual final research project will build upon a student-proposed case study. Students will be evaluated according to the level of application of concepts presented in the course, the response to feedback, and the overall quality of deliverables.

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1Principles of Sustainable Systems
  • Discussion forum: Growth / No-Growth Dilemma
  • Activity: Systems thinking exercise
2Technology Development and Lifecycle Assessment
  • Discussion forum: Define Technology
  • Activity: LCA diagrams
  • Course project: Topic selection
3Metrics for Technology Evaluation
  • Activity 1: Sustainability Index
  • Activity 2: Economic metrics
4Green Chemistry and Materials
  • Discussion forum: Chemical Exposure and Risk
  • Activity: Green Chemistry Case study
  • Course project: Outline Presentations
5Resource Management Technologies
  • Discussion forum: Clean-up Innovations
  • Activity: Circular Economy Case Study
6Sustainable Water and Wastewater Systems
  • Discussion forum: Wastewater Audit
  • Activity: Wastewater treatment technologies
  • Course project: Peer Reviews
7High-Performance Building Systems
  • Discussion forum: Net-zero-energy buildings
  • Activity: LEED Metrics
8Applied Renewable Energy Technologies
  • Discussion forum: Promo video
  • Activity: Comparative Assessment
9Energy Management and Power Systems
  • Discussion forum: Renewables for Baseload Power
  • Quiz - Energy storage technologies
  • Course project: Technical Review
10Sustainable Transportation Technologies
  • Discussion forum: Urban Transportation Models
  • Activity: Comparative analysis of vehicle technologies
11Behavioral Aspects and Feedback Systems
  • Discussion forum: Bias Reflection
  • Activity: Decision making plan
12Individual Course Project
  • Final implementation Proposal