Using Biologically-Inspired Models to Understand Sustainability

  • This module describes how principles of ecosystems can be extracted and applied to the design of human-built systems. Three primary principles of ecosystems are identified for application: consumption of resources at the same rate those resources are generated; recycling and reutilization of waste products; and the utilization of designs that are specifically suited for a given location and resources. The module suggests several topics of discussion related to these principles and their application to human-built systems, focusing both on identifying technical challenges impeding sustainability as well as providing ample opportunity for student brainstorming of potential solutions to those challenges. The module is adaptable for multiple levels and disciplines, with brainstorming and design activities tailorable to whatever level is appropriate for the course and the students.
  • Brent Nelson
Learning Resource Type:
  • Community – General
  • Engineering – Computer
  • College Freshman – Continuing Education
Media Type:
  • Document
  • Sustainable Design
  • Pervaporation
  • Azeotropic Distillation
  • Process Separations
  • Simulation
Related ABET Criteria:
Publication Date:
  • December 2010