Climate change requires engineers to design and build in ways that simultaneously lower greenhouse gases and make society more climate-resilient. Doing so creates new challenges and requires new skills, which engineering education must evolve to provide.

Researchers from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s New Voices 2021 cohort, including PSE’s Director of Research Elena Krieger, published a guest editorial in the Journal of Engineering Education on the way engineering needs to shift to address climate change. The authors outline changes to the technological and philosophical frameworks used in engineering education that will better arm engineers with the skills needed to equitably and sustainably address the challenges of a warming world.


The authors suggest that all engineers must understand how to apply core concepts of climate resilience and sustainability to their work. Failing to do so will result in systems that continue to exacerbate climate impacts for decades to come. In particular, the authors highlight the need for engineers to 1) understand how climate and sustainability are linked to engineering design; 2) incorporate a wide range of disciplines into engineering solutions; 3) understand the ethics and justice dimensions of engineering; and 4) listen to and collaborate with diverse communities.