ISEN Courses - Undergraduate
ISEN has developed a series of undergraduate courses on the topics of sustainability and energy, with an expected audience spanning the whole university, from physical sciences and engineering to social science, business, communication, and law.
ISEN 210 Introduction to Sustainability: Challenges and Solutions
Course Overview: This course provides an introduction to the importance of life-cycle systems perspectives in understanding major challenges and solutions to achieving more sustainable societies. Students will first learn about sustainability challenges in the context of energy and resource use, consumption and development, and environmental constraints. Next, basic methods for life-cycle assessment of human consumption patterns (i.e., the generally-accepted methods for quantifying the sustainability of products and processes) are introduced and applied. Finally, the life-cycle perspective is used to develop an understanding of potential solution pathways for reducing society's impact on the environment, including technology innovation and deployment, behavioral and societal changes, and policies, standards, and regulations.
Instructor: Seth W Snyder
Offered: Fall 2016, TuTh 3:30PM - 4:50PM, Annenberg G15
ISEN 220 Introduction to Energy Systems for the 21st Century
Course Overview: This survey course provides an overview of energy issues in the context of global sustainability. Energy demands for transportation, residential, and commercial uses are presented, and strategies for demand reduction are discussed. Major potential sustainable energy sources will be presented, including solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biofuels, waves and tides, along with coal, nuclear, and hydraulic fracturing technologies. Issues associated with carbon capture, energy storage, and the power grid will be discussed. While this course will address many technical and scientific aspects of energy, no prerequisite technical courses are required.
Instructor: Yip-Wah Chung
Offered: Winter 2017, MWF 1-1:50pm, Annenberg G15
ISEN 230 Climate Change and Sustainability: Economic and Ethical Dimensions
Course Overview: Interdisciplinary analysis of the political, economic and ethical questions underlying the modern climate crisis, including discussion of sustainability concepts, a review of the evidence for human-induced climate change, political and economic analysis of mitigation scenarios, and an exploration of the ethics of resource use, conservation practices, and environmentalism.
Instructors: Jeffrey Strauss
Offered: Spring 2017; MW 3:30 - 5pm, Annenberg G15
ISEN 390 Thermal Energy Systems Design
Course Overview: Applications of the principles of energy engineering analysis to the design of thermal systems. Consideration of such systems as air conditioning, oil piping, refrigeration, fluid distribution, and pneumatic control. Projects will be tailored to the class. Solution of open-ended design problems including introduction to EES (Engineering Equation Solver) software that has built-in thermophysical properties. Cross-listed as MECH_ENG 395
Instructors: Manohar Kulkarni
Offered: Spring 2017: MWF 10-11am, Tech LR4
ISEN 390 Solar Decathlon
Course Overview: The Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses. Northwestern is one of 16 teams selected to compete in the 2017 Solar Decathlon. This course will be offered during the competition period to expose students on the Northwestern team to all aspects of the modern-day, energy-efficient house from the architectural design, engineering (structural, mechanical, electrical), energy systems/modeling, water management, materials, construction, marketing, financing, life-cycle analysis, to communications and outreach. As such, the course emphasizes the need for cross-functional teams that can survey and research broadly but drill down deeply and accurately. The deliverable at the end of the competition period (September 2017) is an actual, functional house.
Offered: New enrollment in this course is not currently offered