List of all MFGE courses

3 Credits
Fall term
Lecture only

Foundational knowledge in Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, Engineering Materials, Engineering Design
Foundational knowledge in Business Operations and Supply Chain
or graduate standing/instructor approval
Karl Haapala
218A Dearborn Hall

Course Description

Students are exposed to the role of the business manager and engineer in the design and implementation of sustainable industrial systems. Sustainability drivers and metrics and sustainable business and engineering analysis concepts, methods, and tools are introduced and discussed. The main focus is life cycle assessment as a decision support tool. A major component of the course is a team project where students contribute their disciplinary perspective in the analysis and improvement of a technological system from a sustainability perspective. As such, they will incorporate business and engineering considerations in making product, manufacturing process, and supply chain design decisions.


  • Sustainability perspectives, metrics, business drivers
  • Life cycle assessment concepts, tools, and standards
  • Stages of life cycle assessment
  • Other assessment methods (footprinting, EIO LCA, hybrid LCA, social LCA)
  • Sustainable systems thinking

Learning Outcomes

The student, upon completion of this course, will be able to:

  1. Describe the concepts of sustainability and life cycle assessment.
  2. Explain how sustainability analysis methods and tools can be applied to improve the design of systems from business and engineering perspectives.
  3. Analyze a component or set of components of a system using life cycle assessment.
  4. Appraise current sustainability analysis methods and describe their limitations.