A Beautiful Completion of 2017 (2)

Today, I attended a talk on Realizing Sustainable Development Goals through Education for Sustainable Development by Dr Subarna Sivapalan, a researcher-cum-academician from Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP).

She shared with us how we should educate our students about Sustainable Development Goals at every opportunity we have inside and outside our classroom.

Sustainable development is a process for meeting human development goals while sustaining the ability of natural systems to continue to provide the natural resources and ecosystem services upon which the economy and society depend (Wikipedia, n.d.).

So coincidently, I am teaching English for Engineering course this trimester. Let me first tell you my bad news then my good news to brighten you up. I have a bunch of future engineers who are mostly majoring in environmental engineering. It has been a big struggle as I myself is a linguist majoring in English but not an engineer. I know nothing about engineering. What I know is just English, seriously. One of their assessments is research proposal. It is a bad idea to have this assessment. I would say it’s the worst mistake as I know nothing about engineering research. It turns out to be …

The good news is that….While reading their proposals and while listening to their proposal presentations, I have learnt a couple of things.

  1. Bamboo as a sustainable building material
  2. Plastic roads to replace tar roads
  3. E-waste management in Malaysia
  4. High performance concrete to prevent disasters like crashing down of a building or serious damage during earthquakes
  5. Environmental awareness among university students in the context of UTAR Kampar
  6. Electric cars
  7. Solar cars
  8. 3R and wet waste
  9. and others.

They are indeed inspiring students. I hope they have learnt something through their self-research and I am indeed amazed by them. It’s an eye opener for me who is an outsider in the field of engineering.

I enjoy my time with them. If I happen to be good in Physics and Chemistry, I would have taken Environmental Engineering course. I got good grades for Physics and Chemistry but I struggled a lot compared to when I was learning English.

Here are some of our best class photos:

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After the talk by Dr Subarna Sivapalan,  I am sort of feeling like doing a Phd proposal on sustainable development. How to relate this topic to my field of study which is linguistics? I have no idea but I feel motivated to find out.

Thank you for your sharing, Dr Subarna Sivapalan! What a good initiative!

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