Whether you want to become an engineer absolutely dedicated to sustainable engineering or not is aside the fact that all of our future engineers are going to need to be a lot more environmentally conscious.
In a recent climate change panel held at PSU, some Oregon climate scientists discussed global warming. And 90% of the audience agreed that humans are the main cause.
The biggest contributing factor is, of course, the creation of greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels. But there’s not a ton we can do about this that we’re not already doing.
What you’ll have to be conscious of in the future isn’t the creation of greenhouse gas. You’ll have to deal with the high cost of materials, since the high cost of gasoline will lead to a rise in transportation costs, affecting any goods.
Here’s what you might expect in the future:
- An increase in demand for computer scientists working on increasing efficiency of existing systems. It sounds vague because it will apply to anything you can imagine, which could be made more efficient with computerization. Things like traffic lights, cruise control, website servers, air conditioning and so forth will all need to be made as efficient as possible.
- Greengineering being applied to everything. Even if you work on designing things you wouldn’t expect to have to be efficient, you will inevitably have to deal with high materials prices. Therefore, the most efficient designs will be prized. (Even for things like pavement, chairs, carpeting and windows may need to be reimagined for efficiency, meaning materials engineers will be in high demand)