Engineering and Society


RWTH Online

Please register via RWTHonline from 5th April - 4th October 2023.

  Colour Wheel representing the colours of all Sustainable Development Goals Copyright: © UN


Students will be introduced to the fundamental facets and issues within the context of “Engineering and Society”. Motivated by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), central topics and theories of sustainability, engineering ethics, and social responsibility are introduced. Subsequently, the relevance of the interface between engineering sciences and society is clarified by addressing selected social structures in the field of gender equality policy, diversity, as well as an international development policy. Examples for the implementation of a socially responsible and sustainable engineering design are discussed through topics such as mobility, urban planning, and water supply.

The teaching and learning concept of the lecture is based on a flipped classroom principle. The students work through the learning content independently and reflect on what they have learned with the help of various (online) reflection tools. Discussion and reflection sessions, forming the framework of the course and fostering exchange in the plenum, take place at the beginning of the course, between the individual learning blocks and at the course conclusion. Through the involvement of student initiatives, students gain insights into the practical implementation of the theory discussed.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After completion of the course: The students...

  • know the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the context of sustainability
  • understand the connection between sustainability and responsibility as well as the concomitant relevance of technology and innovation
  • understand the intersection of technology science and society as well as the resulting implications
  • understand the relevance of societal responsibility and identify fields of action in their respective occupational area
  • understand the social construction of technology and technical processes
  • understand the relevance of social and civic engagement
  • understand the relevance of technology and innovation within cultural and social structures
  • discuss current issues with their fellow students and develop a broad understanding for cooperative learning
  • reflect the learned content and by writing a substantively rigorous and argumentatively logical assessment of a given issue.

Type: Lecture
Language of instruction: German


Sustainable Development Goals

The lecture forms the basis for all further courses at the institute. It introduces the Sustainable Development Goals in a fundamental way and illustrates the interrelationships of the individual goals and their application by means of selected examples.

Learn more about the research and teaching activities at GDI concerning the Sustainable Development Goals