Developing Global Engineers Through Interdisciplinary PBL and Design Thinking

Goudarz Poursharif*, Tamer Panagiotis Doss, Rebecca Broadbent, Gillian Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


From December 2018 to September 2019, academics from different subject groups and professional staff from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) at Aston University worked together to design and implement the first interdisciplinary Problem Based Learning (PBL) module within the College. This module integrated key knowledge related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and real-life problems from the Engineers without Borders (EWB) UK and was designed to enhance the student’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This work will detail how this initiative was pioneered at Aston University to integrate SDGs, sustainable engineering, ethics, and engineering design principles into the engineering curricula using interdisciplinary PBL and design thinking, followed by the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the outcomes of the initiative.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2021
EditorsThomas Klinger, Christian Kollmitzer, Andreas Pester
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-8478-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-8479-1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2021
Event2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON) - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 21 Apr 202123 Apr 2021
Conference number: 2021


Conference2021 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON)
Abbreviated titleEDUCON


  • Design Thinking
  • Global Engineering
  • interdisciplinary
  • Problem Based Learning (PBL)
  • Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Wicked Problems


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