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Smart Infrastructure and Sustainability Engineering in China

Program Details

This is a Summer program. Additional information will be posted on this program page and updated as soon as 2021 details are confirmed. The program details and costs found within are subject to change.

Program Description

Sustainability is a grand challenge to our societies. Sustainable engineering is the design of human and industrial systems to ensure that humankind’s use of natural resources do not lead to diminished quality of life due either to losses in future economic opportunities or to adverse impacts on social conditions, human health and the environment.

The greatest sustainability challenges are to our urban infrastructure. With rapid population growth and the transition from rural to urban living, over 50% of the global population is now living in cities. By 2050, it is predicted that 6 billion people will be living in urban areas. Smart infrastructure through sustainable engineering is vital for the survival of urban settlements and the development of healthy living conditions along with economic prosperity. Shanghai, the largest city in the most populous country in the world, and more specifically Tongji University in Shanghai, has been in the forefront of the development of the “Smart Cities” initiative in China, a country undergoing the most rapid urbanization in history.

This study abroad program attempts to foster an understanding of the fundamental engineering concepts that impact the sustainable infrastructure design critical for smart cities. The program includes several site visits related to sustainability engineering and smart city systems, and cultural and engineering marvels in the Shanghai metropolitan area.

China is the most populous country in the world and has surpassed the United States as the No. 1 country in greenhouse gas emission. Following 40 years of rapid industrialization and becoming the No.2 economy in the world right behind the U.S., China is facing a critical challenge of sustainable development, particularly in infrastructure. China has taken great strides in promoting sustainability in infrastructure engineering such as designing and building the world’s largest high speed rail system for public transportation. Understanding engineering practices in China will prepare students for the tremendous opportunities in the vast Chinese engineering markets.

Students will study at Tongji University which has one of the top engineering programs. Tongji University is located in the vibrant city of Shanghai, the largest city in the world, with a population of greater than 24 million people. With a student body of more than 50,000 students, Tongji University is particularly known for its Civil Engineering program which has been the top ranked program in China for decades. Students on the program will have the opportunity to participate in student activities on the campus of Tongji to experience Chinese culture and student life.

Academic Credit

Students who successfully complete the program will receive credit for CE 311: Smart Infrastructure and Sustainability Engineering (3 credits)

Topics of study include:

  • Introduction to sustainable engineering
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Sustainability metrics
  • Urban sustainability
  • Low impact development
  • Smart transportation
  • Resource recovery from waste
  • Sustainable energy systems
  • Materials for sustainability