Engineer's Forum on Sustainability
The mission of the Forum, established in 1997, is "To help promote the principles and practice of sustainable development by: (1) providing a meeting place for interdisciplinary discussion and exchange of information; (2) identifying and distributing information on engineering education programs that incorporate sustainable development; (3) encouraging practicing engineers to apply sustainable development principles and participate in sustainable development programs and activities at local, regional, and national levels; and (4) keeping abreast of international developments that can contribute to global sustainability.
The Forum is currently co-sponsored by the ASCE, ASEE, AIChE, IEEE, and ASME. All AAES member societies, and other societies and individuals with an interest in sustainable engineering education and practice are welcome to participate in the Forum meetings.
The Forum meets 3 times a year at the National Academy of Engineering. Meetings are typically on a Friday morning, normally in conjunction with the AAES IntAC, which meets that same afternoon in the same conference room. The agenda for each meeting is sent in advance to all interested parties. The meetings include presentations by distinguished speakers on various aspects of sustainability planning, design, construction, and operation. Speakers are encouraged to provide electronic copies of their presentations for use on the websites of the co-sponsors.
A Forum newsletter is prepared after each meeting and distributed by e-mail to an extensive list of interested people. The newsletter summarizes the Forum meeting presentations and includes other articles of interest related to sustainability, grouped by the following categories; Government, Academia, International, Professional, and Other Organizations and Developments.
The Forum has never made public policy statements, and is not equipped to do so since it has no voting authority, arrangements, or systems. Should it ever determine that a public policy statement is required, it would first consult AAES for guidance, including ExCom or Board approval as appropriate.
Funding and Expenses
The Forum does not seek or receive any direct funding. Volunteers and staff of the sponsoring societies provide all needed resources: divide up the various duties, including maintaining websites and e-mail distributon lists, paying for coffee service at the meetings, and preparing and distributing the Forum agendas and newsletters.
The current management team for the Forum operation, representing the sponsoring societies, consists of Al Grant, Chair (ASCE), Darlene Schuster (AIChE), Harry Tollerton (ASEE), Peter Wiesner (IEEE), and Kathryn Holmes (ASME). Changes in responsibilities will be by agreement of all sponsoring agencies.
AAES will devote a portion of its web site to the Forum and its activities, using material provided by the Forum management team. This should help extend the Forum's information outreach to the engineering community nationally and internationally.