About Us

Program Overview

As the earth’s population grows and standards of living rise, engineers are being called upon to play a leadership role in sustainable development and to find solutions to global challenges such as the depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation and damage to ecosystems. Engineers are at the forefront of making decisions with long-term implications for the planet, and must balance the needs of today’s global population with those of generations to come.

Sustainable Engineering is a new, cross-cutting discipline within the engineering profession. One of only a few programs in the country, Villanova University’s Sustainable Engineering Graduate Program prepares its students to use a whole-systems approach to problem-solving through a lifecycle lens. The program is highly-applied, combining engineering principles with the STEEP (Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic and Political) framework to help students address issues and identify sustainable solutions in a holistic manner.

Our online course (no cost or credit hours associated with it) allows you to browse six learning modules at your own pace in order to understand the core teachings of the MSSE degree program. Whether you casually browse the modules, or take an in-depth look, the choice is yours!

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Core Methodology

If we are to live off “nature’s income” rather than continue to reduce “nature’s capital”, our global economy will need to:

  • Utilize whole-systems thinking
  • Employ a life cycle lens
  • Focus on reducing environmental, social and economic impacts
  • Calibrate for social justice issues
  • Filter for the resilience of a system
  • Learn from nature – embrace biomimicry
  • Evaluate the interdependence of issues within a system

Facts & Figures

  • 75 students (as of fall 2016)
  • Average age: 28
  • 48% female
  • 74% part-time
  • 85+ graduates since 2011
  • 90% of graduates have secured employment within three months of graduation

Top Employers: Bechtel, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Capital One, Dow, ARUP, Environmental Resources Management, World Resources Institute, Accenture

Faculty Profiles

Bill Lorenz

Sustainable Engineering Program Director and Professor of Practice

Bill Lorenz is the founder and Director of the Sustainable Engineering Graduate Program at Villanova University. He has more than 45 years of experience in the fields of environmental and sustainable engineering. He previously worked for the Sun Oil Company […]

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Ross Lee, PhD

Sustainable Engineering PhD Coordinator and Professor of Practice

Dr. Ross Lee is responsible for the Sustainable Engineering Graduate Program’s sustainable materials track, which includes the core sustainable materials and design course, a cross-disciplinary biomimicry course and a graduate chemical engineering course in sustainable industrial chemistry. Dr. Lee also […]

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Karl Schmidt

RISE Forum Director and Professor of Practice

Karl Schmidt develops and teaches graduate sustainability courses for Villanova’s College of Engineering and the School of Business’ MBA Program. He also serves as the Director of the RISE Forum, which helps to advance member companies’ sustainability efforts through applied […]

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Iain Hunt

Initiative Manager, Sustainable Engineering for International Development

Iain Hunt has 10 years of experience working in the international development sector in various capacities, including seven years of field experience. Hunt served with the Peace Corps, first in Jamaica, where he was assigned to an NGO responsible for […]

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Student Testimonials

“I really love the people that the master’s in sustainable engineering program attracts. I work with really great peers and it’s exciting because we all have different technical backgrounds and bring something unique to the table.”

Ava Calvano, MS in Sustainable Engineering ‘17

“There aren’t really any programs comparable to Villanova’s MSSE. The forward-thinking curriculum and professors who are industry experts played a large part in my decision to enroll.”

Matthew McMonagle, MS in Sustainable Engineering ‘14

“Coming into the program as a non-engineer was interesting. I was able to work with a network of peers who came from a technical background, trade ideas and think about things in a different way.”

Alyssa Fischer, MS in Sustainable Engineering ‘12

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