S3-CT4-6 - Educational Software for a Sustainable Future

1. Innovative Practice Work In Progress
Claes Fredriksson1 , Tatiana Vakhitova1
1 Education Division, Ansys Granta, Cambridge (UK)

This Work-in-progress paper describes the innovative practice of the GRANTA EduPack software for materials-related teaching that was originally developed as an educational tool for undergraduate teaching at the Engineering Department of Cambridge University some 30 years ago. The software introduced a revolutionary visual methodology for selecting materials based on application and desired material properties. It has found extensive use in the teaching of mechanical engineering, product development and design, both in classroom settings and for project work. The progress of the work on this platform is showcased here.

 The software contains extensive databases of material properties and manufacturing processes. It has evolved with the introduction of eco-properties such as embodied energy, carbon footprint and water use for materials. In 2008, the Eco Audit tool was introduced, which enabled streamlined life-cycle inventories at the early stages of product design, and in 2013, a sustainability database was created and added. The latter contains information about, for example, sourcing and criticality of elements; materials-related legislation and regulations, geo-economic and social conditions data from all the nations of the world, as well as energy generation and storage. In parallel, a 5-step methodology for assessment of sustainable development of technologies exists.

The latest contribution to these innovative resources is a Beta-version of a Social Impact Audit Tool designed to introduce the concept of Social Life-Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) of products. The tool is implemented in EXCEL and is based on the widely accepted UNEP/SETAC “Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessment of Products”, allowing students to explore scenarios that illustrate the S-LCA. This paper describes the progress outlined in the steps above and provides examples of how it is implemented in higher education. This software remains the only comprehensive database with a full range of materials classes and manufacturing processes. It also represents a development towards a systems view of the traditional subject of materials science and engineering with sustainability resources, which adds value to teaching, both for core engineering and design classes.


Keywords—(Materials, Teaching, Sustainability S-LCA )