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MAS520 Design for Sustainable Energy Technology

Course description for academic year 2023/2024

Contents and structure

The ability for engineers to propose sustainable solutions; ones which acknowledge the challenges imposed by the sustainable development goal (SDG) framework and will meet the needs of an increasing population with a rising standard of living whilst minimising the impact on our planet's limited resources, will define the next generation of problem solvers. An ability that should be intrinsic to the role of an engineer.

This course combines the elements of engineering design with industrial ecology and sustainability. Students will develop problem solving skills associated with proposal and refinement of solutions, development, communication, organization, and management of projects within a holistic perspective. These skills are required in contemporary- multidisciplinary engineering projects directed towards the energy sector, i.e. energy conversion, storage and consuming devices.

An understanding of a design team approach will be gained; also, the application and extension of the students’ problem solving knowledge within and beyond their current specialisation.

The course will be centred around a design project which will be supplemented with supporting lectures.

Learning Outcome


The student...

  • understands the engineering design process and the need to weight design decisions against their life cycle and environmental implications.
  • appreciates the importance of selecting the appropriate materials to provide the required properties in detail, in a construction element; also, what forms and functions various materials can perform throughout its lifetime.


The student...

  • can perform initial design studies with calculations for structures and devices whose form and function will provide a solution to specified problems.
  • can evaluate proposed engineering solutions in relation to materials and other resource requirements and apply key concepts to design or redesign products to be recyclable, reusable, repurposed, life extended; in a sustainable ethos with a minimisation of waste and environmental impacts.
  • can specify and develop energy efficient and environmentally conscious devices.
  • can demonstrate proficiency in the use of 3D-printing to provide the capability to rapid prototype elements of a proposed design amongst other fabrication methods.

General competency

The student…

  • can reflect on their professional practice; working in teams.
  • can present their work though presentation and written report.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor degree or equivalent in an engineering/science based subject.


MAS503 Introduction to sustainability analysis, or equivalent.

Note: Those from a less aligned degree may be considered on an individual basis.

Teaching methods


lectures and supervision.

Learning activities:

laboratory/workshop work, which may involve group work.

Concept designing, inc supporting calculations and background literature searches.

Compulsory learning activities

Midway oral presentation.


Group project report with individual adjusted oral examination.

Grade scale A-F

In case of failure, the original project may be resubmitted for reassessment in the following semester.

Examination support material


More about examination support material