EME 807
Technologies for Sustainability Systems

Welcome to EME 807: Technologies for Sustainability Systems


Instructor and Author:

Mark V. Fedkin, Ph.D. in Geo-Environmental Engineering / Instructor in the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (Online Masters and Graduate Certificates Program), The Pennsylvania State University.


EME 807 is a required course for the Sustainability Management and Policy option in the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (RESS) program. It overviews a wide range of contemporary technologies in the context of sustainability and examines metrics for their assessment. The course explores the main principles that guide modern science and technology towards sustainable solutions. It covers such topics as resource management technologies, waste and wastewater treatment, renewable energy technologies, high performance buildings and transportation systems, application of informatics and feedback to sustainable systems, and more. Learning in EME 807 heavily replies on the real-life examples and taps into current practices of technology analysis. This course goes beyond the understanding the background, fostering critical thinking and challenging the students to draw connections between social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainable technologies.

Course Structure:

The course consists of 12 lessons covered over 12-15 weeks depending on semester. Lessons 1-3 are more general: they cover the key frameworks for technology thinking, which are further used frequently throughout the rest of the course. Lessons 4-11 are technology specific: they lead you to explore various technological areas to some extent. Lesson 12 is reserved for the final project. Each lesson provides you with reading and video materials on the course webpage and assigns you some activities to complete. There are three main types of activities in this course: (i) forum discussions, (ii) weekly written assignments, and (iii) individual course project. In your course project, you will develop a technology assessment case-study based on your area of interest.

Learning Environment:

This website provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The menu on the top of the page links you to course orientation, syllabus, lessons, Canvas system, and other supporting materials. Canvas - Penn State's new course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course as well as to provide the primary communications, calendaring, discussion, and submission tools for the course.

Topics of Study:

  • Lesson 1: Principles of Sustainable Systems
  • Lesson 2: Technology Development and Lifecycle Assessment
  • Lesson 3: Metrics for Technology Evaluation
  • Lesson 4: Green Chemistry and Materials
  • Lesson 5: Resource Management Technologies
  • Lesson 6: Sustainable Water and Wastewater Systems
  • Lesson 7: High Performance Building Systems
  • Lesson 8: Applied Renewable Energy Technologies
  • Lesson 9: Energy Management and Power Systems
  • Lesson 10: Sustainable Transportation Technologies
  • Lesson 11: Behavior Aspects and Feedback Systems
  • Lesson 12: Final Project (student's choice of case study)