Professor Abbas Rajabifard

Professor Abbas Rajabifard has been appointed as the Sustainability in the Curriculum Fellow in 2019. He has also been appointed as Director of Smart Sustainable Development for the Melbourne School of Engineering in 2020.

As part of my Curriculum Fellowship appointment, I will be leading a team to develop and implement a 2-phase approach to integrate sustainability knowledge into UoM’s subjects, as part of the Sustainability Strategic Planning 2030 at the University of Melbourne. The agenda proposed is based on sustainability agenda and an alignment with the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals’ framework (SDGs), and consists of:

  1. subject mapping, which establishes connections between each subjects’ content and sustainability; and
  2. visualisation, which demonstrates the results on an online digital platform to communicate the findings.

Having a clear understanding of both the SDGs and subject contents’ is fundamental to finding the alignment of the university subjects with the sustainability. In order to find connections between the subjects’ content and sustainability our team from Melbourne School of Engineering examined the UoM handbook and reviewed and assessed the aims, indicative content, and intended learning outcomes for each subject, and mapped the interrelationships between subjects and sustainability goals and indicators using SDGs Agenda. Based on this we have identified opportunities for better alignment of curriculum with sustainability, and many of these already implemented.

Our online platform is designed to visualise what goals are relevant to each school, and in which schools a specific goal can be added to their curriculum. We have also developed a plugin and added this to the campus digital twin platform to communicate the idea of sustainability in the Curriculum Fellowships program and exhibit its results the and subjects across the University. By June 2020, we have managed to assessed and mapped over 1200 subjects across 6 faculties against sustainability goals and indicators.

This role is a joint appointment by Chancellery and the Melbourne School of Engineering, established as part of the University’s Sustainability Strategy 2017-2020, which commits to teaching and learning programs that “inspire and support students to be leaders for a sustainable future”. Please get in touch if you’d like to work toward that in MSE.