What We Do

ESW is an international network that supports our chapters and benefits our members. We do online short courses and support local faculty, host regional and annual conferences, and coordinate 50+ collegiate and professional chapters. Chapters get leader training, connections to others doing similar projects, best practice guides, and project grants. Chapters are autonomous - they choose their own campus, community, or international projects, and find their own local niche. They're founded by students and professionals that want to implement sustainability and get a name, structure, and resources to make that happen.

All of this is run primarily by a distributed team of volunteers (the Leadership Team), and supported by dues, donations, corporate sponsors, and conference registrations. We provide opportunities and training so that sustainability becomes part of the education and practice of every current and future engineer. You can read more about these initiatives below, and donate to help these and other programs flourish.

Collegiate and Professional Chapters

Chapters are the heart of ESW - local groups of individuals working on projects, education, and community. We started with collegiate chapters, and our network includes schools of all shapes and sizes. As we graduate more members, we are founding an initial wave of professional chapters to do their own projects, develop multidisciplinary professional communities, and mentor students. We support all of our chapters with leadership training and regional volunteers to help solve problems and find ways that ESW can enhance local efforts.

WPSI (the Wicked Problems in Sustainability Initiative)

Sustainability is full of wicked problems - those that lack a clear definition, have no right or wrong answers, and require significant resources every time you try to change the system. Teaching complexity like this is hard for most schools, but critical for the next generation. WPSI combines local project-based courses with adaptable curricula, professional expertise, and a community around a specific problem each year. We invite you to join us and expose students at your school or company to these problems.

Annual and Regional Conferences

There's nothing like getting together in person. Our Annual Conference, now held in April, brings together hundreds of students, faculty, and professionals from around the country for workshops, speakers, and camraderie around projects, education, and community. Our fall Regional Conferences have the same goals with a tighter community and a more local topical focus. We try out new ways of doing conferences - more than just panels and keynotes - to find the best ways of sharing and learning information, whether it's leadership skills or how to design a solar array.

Short Courses

Adding 'sustainable' to engineering means both new design methods like life-cycle assessment or passive solar architecture, but also exposure to a wide set of topics, such as ecological economics and energy policy. Access to this material should be available to students and professionals regardless of location or local institutions. Since 2014, ESW has offered a series of digital short courses to provide opportunities to learn and engage with new ideas with an eye towards application. Designed to be 4-6 weeks long, digital, and as interactive as possible, they're big enough to have many viewpoints, but small enough for discussion and participant-driven topics.