Sustainability in operations, production, and consumption continues to gain relevance for engineers. This trend will accelerate as demand for goods and services grows, straining resources and requiring ingenuity to replace boundless supply in meeting the needs of a more crowded, more prosperous world. Industrial engineers are uniquely positioned to incorporate sustainability concepts into this work; their focus is on systems, and in observing these systems at a high level, they can most effectively choose which parts of the systems to modify to produce desired results.
In this paper, we explore using the vehicle of education to introduce sustainability concepts into industrial engineers’ training. We first survey the current state of sustainability education in industrial engineering programs. We then discuss a curricular modification program in which sustainability was introduced into several courses through use of content-focused modules. We conclude with our recommendations on how such a structure can be used to expand sustainability education in industrial engineering programs at all levels.